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Thread: Truffles

  1. #1
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,280

    Truffles

    A post in the resto forum above referring to "gnocchi with truffles" at santa fe prompted a little research. I thought i remembered from a previous post checking out the new santa fe menu and seeing gnocchi à la crème de truffes blanches. Obviously the dish wasn't "with truffles" but with a truffle preparation. Cream of white truffles is a pantry staple containing sometimes crème fraîche, sometimes olive oil, sometimes cèpes, various spices and other ingredients, and from 1 to perhaps 10% true white truffle (tuber magnatum pico) and sometimes also the inferior bianchetto truffle.

    Truffles’ kinds


    The classification of different species of truffles is based primarily on morphological characteristic such as shape, size, colour, ornamentation of the peridium, trama aspect, smell and taste.
    The different species are identified in the laboratory through the recognition of spores or through molecular-biological analysis techniques.
    In the world of fungi species there are about 63 that are currently classified as tubers; in Italy there are 25, but only 9 are edible and 5 are the most commonly marketed: Tuber Magnatum Pico, Tuber Melanosporum Vitt.,Tuber Aestivum Vitt., Tuber Borchii Vitt. and Tuber Brumale Vitt.
    White truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico)

    The white truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico) is the most widely known truffle because of its taste and commercial importance.
    It has a globular shape, with numerous depressions on the peridium that make it irregular. The outer surface is smooth and slightly velvety. The colour varies from pale cream to dark cream to greenish. Its flesh is unmistakable and it is white or greyish yellow with thin white veins.
    It smells pleasantly aromatic and contrary to other types of truffles it does not have a garlic-like smell. This makes it unique. It lives in symbiosis with oak trees (in this case it takes a dark hazelnut colour), lime trees, poplars and willows (in this case it is almost white) and is rarely found in combination with other truffles. It also has red marks if it lives in symbiosis with the linden. The white truffle, to sprout and grow, needs special terrain with equally unique climatic conditions: Soil should be soft and wet for a better part of the year; soil must also be rich in Calcium and a good circulation of air is desirable. The collection is done from September to December.
    Black Truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vitt.)

    The black truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vitt.) looks fairly smooth and round with polygonal warts. The black winter truffle has a trama that acquires a blackish shade of purple when fully ripe. The main characteristics to distinguish the different species are: the soil, the plants with which the truffle has a symbiotic relationship and the area or the countries in which the truffle grows. The black truffle is found in France (Perigord, Vaucluse) and in Norcia, Umbria. That is why the black truffle is known as The Norcia or Perigord black truffle. The flesh is clear, its perfume is intense, aromatic and fruity.
    It grows in hilly and mountainous areas in symbiosis with hazel and oak. After the white truffle, it is considered the most valuable commercially and is a significant ingredient in international cuisine. Its collection period is from December to March.
    Black Summer Truffle (Tuber Aestivum Vitt.)

    The black summer truffle sometimes reaches big dimensions and looks similar to the black winter truffle. The external surface has brown colored pyramidal warts. It has an aromatic smell, but once cut it is possible to distinguish it from the black winter truffle because the gleba does not become dark and instead acquires a dark yellow color.
    It grows both in sandy and clavely soils. It is well appreciated and used for the production of sausages and sauces.
    Bianchetto (Tuber Borchii Vitt.)

    “Bianchetto truffle” also known as “Marzuolo truffle” (Tuber Borchii Vitt.) is abundant in Tuscany, Piedmont and Marche regions. Externally it can be confused with the Tuber Magnatum because at a first glance it shows the same characteristics: irregular, smooth and off-white color but the difference is that when it ripens, it becomes darker. Even the trama (also called the context or flesh) from fair become darker. The smell is the main characteristic that distinguishes it from the white truffle, because if it is soft and pleasant at the beginning, it becomes garlic-like and nauseating after some time. It grows in limestone soils, often in deciduous and coniferous trees. The collection period is from January to March. Black winter Truffle (Tuber Brumale Vitt.)

    Black Winter Truffle or Brumale (Tuber Brumale Vitt.) is often confused with the black truffle because they share the same habitat and the same type of plant symbionts. It is brownish black with a slightly warty surface. Inside, the flesh darkens highlighting the white veins. It smells like nutmeg and grows in the winter under deciduous plants in temperate climates. Commercially its value is halved compared to the prized black.
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  2. #2
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,611

    Re: Truffles

    Thank you for this guide to truffles, Cass.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  3. #3
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 8,330

    Re: Truffles

    We are a little confused here. One would assume a truffle preparation contains truffles- as you say 1- up to 10%. If the gnocchi comes with a preparation that contains truffles doesn't the name describing the gnocchi at Santa Fe- 'with truffles' adequately describe it. It sounds like you would like to see the menu say Gnocchi with a truffle preparation?

  4. #4
    cassidain is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Ailleurs Posts: 6,280
    Fils du Sud - Ministre de la Santé

    If I can't wear my Havaianas, I ain't goin'...ÀMHA

  5. #5
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,611

    Re: Truffles

    Oh my!
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  6. #6
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 8,330

    Re: Truffles

    Now I understand your concern. You actually mean Truffles with a little gnocchi!

  7. #7

    Re: Truffles

    Informative post. Thanks for enhancing my knowledge regarding truffles.

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