The Black Truffle is one of the most used and appreciated truffles for its unique flavor, characteristic scent and versatility in the kitchen. How can it be best enjoyed? In this article we try to tell you everything you need to know.
When is the black truffle harvested?
The Nero Pregiato, whose scientific name is Tuber Melanosporum, is an underground fungus that grows in symbiosis with the roots of various types of trees (in particular Turkey oak, downy oak, holm oak, hazel, lime, hornbeam) and prefers calcareous, permeable soils , and with good sun exposure.
The periods of collection of black truffles
The start and end dates of the black truffle harvest vary according to the individual regions. The collection period of the precious black truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vitt) runs from mid-November to mid-March.
Often confused with the prized black truffle, due to the color of the similar peridium and the overlapping collection periods, is the brumale truffle (Tuber Brumale Vitt): unlike the prized black, whose collection period begins in mid-November, the brumale truffle harvesting season runs from the beginning of January to mid-March.
Black Truffle: how to recognize it?
Like the other varieties of truffles, the Nero Pregiato is composed of an external rind, called peridium, and an internal pulp, called gleba. But how to recognize it?
- Its shape is rounded, rather regular.
- Its dimensions can be of the most disparate, and vary from those of a hazelnut to those of a large potato.
- The peridium is black and wrinkled, dotted with small dark warts (hence the name Melanosporum).
- The gleba is purplish black, furrowed by thin light veins, which when exposed to the air take on red tones.
- Its scent is delicate and pleasant, never too intense.
- The taste is very particular, almost sweetish, which is why the Nero Pregiato is often called “sweet truffle.”
As mentioned, the truffle is also appreciated for its scent reminiscent of hay and chestnut, it has an intense scent, which develops only when fully ripe.
How much does the Black Truffle cost?
Among the black truffles, the prized one is the most expensive, even if it is decidedly cheaper than the white truffle, capable of reaching truly mind-boggling prices.
The price of Nero Pregiato, like that of all other truffles, varies continuously, even during the same season. This all depends on many factors, including:
- Quantity collected in a given period
- Market requests
And so on.
Fans, for example, always keep an eye on the various truffle bags, in order to get the most accurate idea possible.
How to use Nero Pregiato in the kitchen?
The Black Truffle is the great protagonist of the table, as it is extremely versatile, perfect raw and even tastier when cooked.
Unlike the white one, in fact, the Black Truffle holds up very well when cooked, thanks to which it releases all its characteristic aromas and flavors.
Perfect for preparing risotto, pasta sauces, sauces to be enjoyed on hot croutons, it is also ideal cut into slices and cooked together with roasts, or used raw, in strips, to flavor hot soups, polenta, mashed potatoes, fried eggs, cheeses and bruschetta, to which it gives a unique taste and aroma.
The black truffle is also perfect to be paired with hot cod dishes or fatty fish such as salmon, trout or swordfish.
You just have to try!