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The summer truffle

The summer truffle

Are you aware that there are many Black Truffle varieties in the world?

But only a few are considerably valuable Black Truffle botanical species by the gastronomical point of view.

The most common of Black Truffle species is the Tuber Aestivum Vitt., commonly called “Summer Truffle”.

Summer Truffle is a variety vastly present in Europe, especially in the South (Italy, France and Spain) and in Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria) as well as in the Balkan Regions (Croatia and Slovenia).

Summer Truffle is bluish-black in color and has a very crumpled and thick peel, created of countless small pyramidal warts. In its inner part, Summer Truffle is brown in color (from light brown to a hazelnut color, depending on the plant and the land of origin) and it is crossed by distinctive light veins. It is a truffle with a hard consistency to the touch, less delicate to handle than the other truffle varieties, with a longer shelf life than White Truffle (fresh Summer Truffles can last up to 15 days after harvest).

In Piedmont, the most prized Summer Truffle is found in hazelnut groves and has a characteristic dark brown color. This variety of truffle has a very long season: it is harvested between the months of May and October. Although it is not a particularly fragrant variety when it is compared to the Fall varieties, we at Tartuflanghe like it for its predominantly discernable taste, with hints that recall mushrooms, the undergrowth and hazelnuts. We especially like it served on hot dishes, because the heat and steam give off all of its fragrance.

Have you ever tried our Summer Truffle slices in olive oil ? The tasty slices of Summer Truffle preserved in olive oil are very convenient, ready to be used and be paired in any of your dishes: in addition to any type of pasta, have you ever tried it on a meat fillet? Or on fish? Or on pizza? Or on eggs? Or even on a slice of your favorite cheese?  Also, the leftover preserving oil is a delicious seasoning that can be added to any of your recipes.

 

Dorella Sanakidis
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Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo

Are you aware that many people in Italy do not know the dish “Fettuccine Alfredo”?

Particularly interesting is the story of the Fettuccine Alfredo, a dish that takes its name after the restaurateur Alfredo Di Lelio, whom in 1927 proposed this recipe to Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, two Hollywood celebrities on their honeymoon in Rome, which is based on heavy cream, butter and Parmigiano cheese. The dish became famous across the Atlantic thanks to the media that took up and amplified this story, transforming this dish into an icon of the Italian-American cuisine. After Second World War, Alfredo Di Lelio moved his restaurant from via Della Scrofa to the prominent Piazza Augusto Imperatore, thus becoming a magnet for American travelers. While there is no person in the USA who does not know the recipe for “Fettuccine Alfredo”, the dish is almost unknown in Italy, with the exception of the city of Rome itself.

We at Tartuflanghe like “Fettuccine Alfredo”, here below we are recommending using truffle, a very tasty and sophisticated recipe variation:

  • In a pan, over low heat warm up for about 5 minutes our "Parmigiano Reggiano Truffle Cream" by adding 2 tbsp. of milk.
  • Bring to a boil 2 liters of water, when water reach boiling point add 20g. of salt and cook the egg fettuccine to your likeness (you can also use Egg Tagliatelle or Egg Tagliolini).
  • Once the pasta is drained, sauté it in a pan with the Parmigiano and Truffle Cream by serving it piping hot at once.
  • You can also add our "Truffle Perlage" (truffle juice in shape of caviar)

PAOLO MONTANARO
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"White truffle on the label"

"White truffle on the label"

In Italy different truffle species are born, some being more precious and rarer, others being more commonplace.

The differences among truffles lay in the skin color (peridium), in the color of the internal area (glebe) as well as for the taste and scent truffles give off.

The rarest specie of them all is the "Tuber Magnatum Pico" because it is not yet cultivable. 

The Tuber Magnatum Pico is generally called "white truffle" and it is the most beloved truffle in the world, also the most significant truffle at a gastronomic level.

The Tuber Magnatum Pico has usually a spherical form, however often it is also flattened and irregular in shape, with a pale yellow or even a tawny peridium, occasionally found with red-brown patches. The gleba which is crossed by plentiful of highly branched white veins, varies in color, from a milky shade, to an intense pink, all the way to light brown.

White Truffle dimensions are flexible, they can easily reach those of a large apple and some specimens have abundantly exceeded the kilo in size!

White Truffle is harvested from late Summer, throughout the Fall until the beginning of Winter. The start and end date of the harvest is being set each year by the appointed county administration.

When reading "White Truffle" on a product label, make sure that " Tuber Magnatum Pico" specie is listed and highlighted.

Quite often, we have seen products labelled with "white truffle" although containing "tuber Borchii" or "tuber Albidum" varieties as ingredients. 

It is true that the color for “tuber Borchii" or "tuber Albidum" is similar to the Tuber Magnatum Pico color, however both of the above mentioned botanical species are qualitatively different from the Tuber Magnatum Pico,  having a significantly lower economical value (they both cost about 10 to 15 times less than the Tuber Magnatum Pico).

In Italy it is forbidden to call the Albidum-Borchii tubers "white truffle”, these varieties are instead called "bianchetti" (translated as “whitish” in English) or Marzuolo (translated as “truffle born in the month of March” or “Spring whitish truffle”).

So please pay attention to product labels and read them carefully: a "White truffle cream" must contain a percentage of Tuber magnatum Pico in the ingredient list, not merely substitutes such as Tuber Borchii or Tuber Albidum (in this case the product should be labelled "whitish truffle cream").

At TartufLanghe, we never use Tuber Borchii or Tuber Albidum, which in our opinion are mushrooms of a quite lower quality than the Tuber Magnatum Pico, both having an intense but overpowering flavor, making them difficult to digest.

 

 

Credit photos: tuber.it www.tartuflanghe.com 

PAOLO MONTANARO
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