In Season in Autumn: Truffles
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of Truffles | Buying
Preparing and cooking Truffles |
Choice Top 3 Autumn Truffles Recipes
are a fungi, like mushrooms, but which grow under ground. However, because they only grow in
particular conditions, i.e. next to the roots of certain hardwood trees such as
oak, they are relatively rare and highly seasonal making them one of the
most expensive foods in the world.
Depending on the type, they are in season from October to
truffles is labour intensive and usually requires the aid of a specially trained
dog or female pig (truffles give off an aroma similar to sexual hormones, to
which female pigs are attracted.
Types of Truffles
There are about 70
different types of truffles globally some of which are better than others. The
colours range from black to brown,
grey to white with sized from 3 to 5cm in diameter. Many believe the best
truffles are to be found in Italy and France,
of which the most popular or well known
varieties are the White Italian Truffle and the Black Perigord Truffle.
The tastes differ in
that the White Truffle has a creamy texture and a clean taste whereas the Black
Truffle has a rich
earthy flavor reminiscent of nuts and mushrooms and an altogether more pungent
Buying and storing fresh
Choose cleaned firm specimens with no soft spots or mold. White truffles should
smell earthy and black truffles should have a more pungent smell. Neither should
ever smell of ammonia. Donít buy specimens which are slimy, or spongy.
Truffles should be eaten at the peak of ripeness (unripe truffles don't have so
much flavour) and can be kept wrapped in kitchen paper or a paper bag in the
fridge to ensure that they do not rot from too much moisture. They can also be
kept in a sealed jar with a few raw eggs which will absorb the aroma through
their porous shells.
Truffles should be consumed within 3 days however they can be frozen.
Freeze in small quantities as
they shouldn't be re-frozen once defrosted. - great drizzled over simply grilled fish.
Cooking fresh Truffles
Black truffles are often peeled however white truffles are usually just wiped
clean. Never slice, grate or otherwise cut truffles until you
are ready to use them.
When used in recipes,
truffles should be very thinly sliced, preferably using a mandolin or a special
truffle shaver, or even grated.
In general, use
truffles for dishes
using eggs, pasta, risotto, veal and
seafood and Black Truffles with
poultry dishes. For the best flavour, black truffles should
be added as near to the end of cooking time as possible. White truffles aren't
generally cooked at all.