Tuber Magnatum Pico
It has a spherical aspect, with numerous depressions on the peridium that makes it irregular. The external surface is smooth and lightly velvety. It’s colour varies from pale ochre to dark cream or greenish. It’s flesh or “ gleba” is unmistakable and it’s white and yellow-greyish with a tenuous white veining. The pleasant and aromatic fragrance, very different from the garlic-smell of the other truffles, makes this truffle unique in its genus. It lives in symbiosis with oak-trees, lime-trees, poplars and willow-trees and rarely you can find it next to other truffles. The white truffle, to grow and to develop itself, needs a soil with particular climatic conditions : the ground has to be soft and humid for the major part of the year, it must have plenty of calcium and needs a good circulation of air. Therefore it’s evident that not all soils have these characteristics and so these environmental factors make the white truffle a rare and desired fruit. In Tuscany, the zones were the white truffle grows, are the Crete Senesi, the hills of S. Miniato , il Casentino and the Mugello. The picking is allowed from September to December.
Tuber Melanosporum Vitt. (Tartufo nero Pregiato)
The valuable black truffle, the TUBER MELANOSPORUM VITT
, known as the truffle from Norcia, from Spoleto and, by the french, as truffle de Perigord, has an homogeneous and round shape with polygonal warts. The brown and blackish surface becomes, after touching it , red with rust-coloured shades. It’s flesh or “gleba” is light, it’s fragrance is intense, aromatic and fruity.
It grows on hilly and mountain areas in symbiosis with stones, oaks and ash trees. After, the white truffles, the black ones are considered the most valuable and are actors of the international cuisine.
The picking season goes from December to March in the areas of the “Montagnola Senese” and “Chianti”. Usually, where the truffles grow, there is a lack of vegetation and grass is seldom due to the action of the mycelium. It is also possible to notice the presence of a particular kind of fly, the Anisotoma Cinnamomea, which deposits its eggs close to the truffles.
The whitish truffle.
Tuber Albinum Pico (Tartufo bianchetto marzuolo)
The whitish truffle, is known as TUBER BORCHI VITT.
There is a big demand of this kind of truffle in Tuscany, Romagna and the Marche ,even if its commercial value is lower than white one. The outward appearance is similar to the Tuber Magnatum, they share an irregular, smooth and white colour even if they become darker when ripe. Also the “gleba” at fist white later on becomes dark . What really distinguishes this kind of truffle from the white ones is the fragrance, at the beginning it is fine and pleasant but then in a second moment it becomes strong and garlicky. It grows in calcareous areas especially in conifer woods. Not only in the inlands of Tuscany, it grows also on the coast line preferring the pine-woods. The picking season goes from May to December.
|The summer truffle
Tuber Aestivum Vitt. (Tartufo scorzone)
The summer truffle or “scorzone”, known as TUBER AESTIVUM VITT
sometimes reaches remarkable sizes and it looks like the black truffle. Its surface presents brownish pyramidal warts. It has an intense and aromatic flavour, but once cut it distinguishes itself from the precious black truffle since the flesh dos not become dark but yellow. It grows both in sandy and clayey, woods and piny areas. We can find it easily in all the woody areas of Tuscany. It is well appreciated and it is used to produce sausages and sauces. The picking season goes from May to December.
|The black and smooth black truffle.
Tuber Macrosporum Vitt. (Tartufo Nero)
The black and smooth black truffle, is known as TUBER MACROSPORUM VITT
. Even if it is not well known and commercialised it is very appreciated. It distinguishes itself for its garlicky fragrance similar to the white truffle and its smooth and warty surface. It grows in symbiosis with poplars, lime-trees, oaks and hazels like the white ones.
|The Bagnoli truffle.
Tuber Mesentericum Vitt. (Tartufo nero ordinario)
The Bagnoli truffle, is known as TUBER MESENTERICUM
. It is a kind very similar to the “scorzone” but it distinguishes itself for its intense flavour of phenol. It is dark and warty and its flesh is consistent and whitish. It is a well known truffle in the areas of the “Monte Amiata” and of the “Casentino”, even if it is picked more for commercial reasons than traditional ones. It grows in symbiosis with oak trees, beeches, birch trees and hazels and you can find them in autumn and winter.