Truffles are actually mushrooms though when you taste them, you will see why they are one of the expensive jewels of the ingredient world. A small black truffle can cost €100 easily. The truffle season lasts from summer through to the end of April. The most important area for the black truffle is Umbria and the main area for the white truffle is Piedmonte.
– Truffles are found underground and it takes a specially trained pig or dog to find them. The trick is to remove the truffle before the animal eats it.
– There are two varieties of truffle, white (bianco) and black (nero). The white one is the most expensive because the flavour is ten times more intense than the black one.
– The most important area for the black truffle is Umbria and the main area for the white truffle is Piedmonte.
– You can’t cook truffle or you will lose the flavour. It is best to use a special truffle shaver to create fine, fine slices of truffle and to layer them over a cooked dish. They will melt in the mouth and you will get the true truffle experience. Never cut them with a knife, the slices will be too thick and it is an absolute waste of a truffle.
How to clean a truffle
Use a mushroom brush or a clean cloth to remove the soil, then wash it briefly in running water and dry immediately.
How to store a truffle
Truffles keep in the fridge for about a week or ten days at most – you need to cover it with a moist piece of kitchen towel to keep it humid. You can also wrap it moist paper towel and freeze it in a plastic container with a lid for 3-4 months. However, it is never as good as when it is fresh. Whenever we buy a fresh truffle, we keep it stored in a bowl of eggs, with cling film covering the bowl – the truffle perfumes the eggs which we then use to make scrambled eggs. That way we haven’t used any of our actual truffle and still have it to shave over pasta dishes.
You need to make sure that you buy truffle oil that has been made with a fresh truffle, not truffle extract (which is what most of the cheaper truffle oil makers use). Real truffle oil will last up to a year if you keep it in the dark and it is amazing. Just a few drops will transform a dish of scrambled eggs or drizzle a thin stream over pasta tossed with asparagus and top it with shavings of Parmesan cheese.
Urbani are one of the finest truffle companies in the world: they sell fresh and frozen truffles, authentic truffle oil and even truffle paste, flour, butter, truffle juice, fondue, honey, butter and salt.
Add a drizzle of truffle oil to our Cream of Cauliflower soup or to Pea soup with Crème Fraîche. It will turn a simple egg dish like Piperade or Perfect scrambled eggs into a feast and eating a dish of Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara with shaved truffles on top is something you should definitely eat once in a lifetime.
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