Truffle is the favorite mushroom of all gourmets, proudly carrying the title of the most expensive product in its category. It is valuable at once by three factors: amazing taste, useful properties and aphrodisiac qualities. Next, we offer a closer look at this mushroom. First, we will tell and show in the photo what a truffle looks like, what are its features and what are its varieties. And then we will figure out how to properly collect the mushroom and where it grows in Russia. But first things first.
Features and useful properties of truffles
The fruit body of a truffle has a round or tuber-like shape and in its dimensions the advantage resembles a nut. In rare cases, the fungus is so large that it looks like a full-fledged potato. The outer layer of truffle can be either smooth, or rugged with small cracks, or covered with multifaceted warts. In cross section, the mushroom has a pronounced marble texture, which is formed by the interweaving of light "internal veins" and dark "external veins". On these veins and are numerous spore bags.
Truffles are primarily known for their culinary properties. They are actively used in many national cuisines for making sauces, pies, toppings for all kinds of pastries, as well as as an addition to seafood or poultry. Often, the mushroom is served as an independent dish.
Another feature of truffles is a useful composition. Mushrooms contain:
- vitamins of groups C, B and PP,
- vegetable proteins,
Truffle juice is useful for all sorts of eye diseases, and the mushroom pulp effectively helps relieve gout pain. It is known that mature mushrooms have a small amount of anandamide in their composition, which has a calming effect on the nervous system. In addition, truffles contain strong pheromones that enhance the emotional background of a person.
Important! There are no serious contraindications for truffles, but their use is possible only if two conditions are met: no allergy to penicillin and the freshness of the product.
Types of truffles
There are more than a hundred varieties of truffles in the world, which are classified according to three factors: biological group, gastronomic value, geographical group. The most common among them are the following mushrooms:
Growth and collection of truffles
The search and collection of mushrooms is very difficult, as truffles are rarely shown on the surface of the soil. And they grow far from all countries. So, in Russia there are only some types of mushrooms:
- Black summer - grow on the shores of the Black Sea and the Caucasus, mainly in deciduous forests. Often settled in the root system of beech or oak. You can collect them all summer season and at the very beginning of autumn.
- Black winter - most often found in the Caucasus in forest areas with calcareous soils. Ripen from January to March.
- White - grow in several regions of Russia at once: Moscow, Tula, Smolensk, Orlovskaya. They ripen from mid-autumn to early winter, but the most suitable collection period is the second half of October.
Truffles are searched for with the help of trained pigs or dogs: mushrooms have a strong peculiar odor, which animals feel even from a great distance. A kind of "hunt" is recommended at night.
Mushrooms should be consumed within 3-4 days after collection. To increase the shelf life of the product will only freeze or preserve.
As you can see, the high cost of truffles fully justifies its advantages: unique taste, a wide maneuver for culinary experiments, a positive effect on the human body. And even no matter how difficult the processes of searching, collecting and storing the fungus were, all these difficulties are absolutely pale compared to the valuable properties of the product.
Characteristics of the mushroom truffle
The fruit body of the truffle is located underground, it has a round or tuber-like shape and a fleshy or gristly consistency. Size varies from hazel to potato tuber. On top of the fruit body is a leathery layer, smooth, cracked or covered with warts. On the cut, the tissue of the fruit body has a marble pattern in which light and dark streaks alternate.
Where does truffle grow
Truffles grow in deciduous forests, under certain trees for each species. For example, black truffle and summer truffle grow under oak, beech, hornbeam, hazel, Piedmontese truffle is found next to birch, poplar, elm, linden, rowan, hawthorn.
Real truffles are edible mushrooms. The most valuable species is the Perigord, Piedmont and winter truffles. Their flesh is different mushroom flavor with a hint of roasted seeds or walnuts and a strong characteristic aroma. After soaking in water, the truffle gets the taste of soy sauce. Truffles are often added to dishes in raw form at the very end of their preparation in order to preserve the flavor of these mushrooms.
Summer truffle (Tuber aestivum)
The fruit body is underground, tuberiform or rounded, with a diameter of 2.5-10 cm. The surface is brown-black or bluish-black, covered with black warts. The flesh of a young fungus is dense, with time it becomes friable, the color changes from whitish to brown-yellow and gray-brown, light streaks form a marble pattern. The taste is nutty, sweetish, the aroma is pleasant, strong.
Occurs in mixed and deciduous forests, on calcareous soils, under oaks, beeches, hornbeams, birches, in Central Europe, in Russia. The fruiting season begins in summer and continues until the beginning of autumn.
Winter truffle (Tuber brumale)
The fruit body is from irregularly spherical to almost round shape, 8-15 cm in diameter. The weight of an adult fungus is 1-1.5 kg. The surface is covered with warts, the size of 2-3 mm. The color of a young mushroom is reddish-purple, turning black with age. The flesh is first white, then becomes gray or gray-violet with white and yellowish-brown marble veins. It has a strong and pleasant smell reminiscent of musk.
It grows in France, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine. It ripens from November to February-March.
Italian truffle (Tuber magnatum)
The fruit body is underground, it has the form of irregular tubers measuring 2-12 cm and weighing 30-300 g. The surface is uneven, velvety, light ocher or brownish, the peel is not separated from the pulp. Pulp is dense, whitish or yellow-gray, sometimes reddish, with white and creamy-brown marble pattern. The taste is pleasant, the smell is spicy, like cheese with garlic.
Mycorrhiza forming with oak, willow and poplar, lindens. It is found in deciduous forests in northwestern Italy (Piedmont), in France. The collection of white Piedmont truffles lasts from September 21 to January 31.
Black trumpet, or Perigord (Tuber melanosporum)
The fruit body is underground, tuberiform, rounded or irregular in shape, 3–9 cm in diameter. The surface is reddish-brown, coal-black in old fungi, and when pressed it becomes rusty. The flesh is firm, light, gray or pinkish-brown in color with a white or reddish marble pattern, in old mushrooms it is dark. Possesses strong characteristic aroma and pleasant taste with easy bitterness.
It grows in deciduous forests, on calcareous soil, most often under oaks. Distributed in France, Italy and Spain. The season lasts from November to March.
Deer truffle (Elaphomyces granulatus)
Inedible for humans mushroom.
The fruit body is rounded, 1-4 cm in size, yellow-brown in color. The smell is sharp, earthy, similar to the smell of potatoes. The surface is small tubercular.
It is found in Europe and North America, in Chile, China, Japan and Taiwan. It grows under coniferous trees, as well as under chestnuts, beeches and oaks, in all seasons, massively in late summer and autumn.
Growing truffles at home
As a substrate for the cultivation of truffle using seedlings of oak or common hazel. Shoots for several weeks incubated under sterile conditions so that mycelium has settled down. After this, the seedlings are planted in the nursery.
The soil for growing truffles should have a pH of 7.5-7.9, a high content of humus and calcium. It should not contain stones, weeds and should not be infected with other types of fungi. Before disembarking, deep mechanical processing is performed. Before planting the soil is not fertilized. The environment should be dry with an average temperature of 16.5-22 ° C.
Seedlings are planted in spring. For one hectare no more than 500 trees. Some water is poured into the hole, the sapling is poured tightly and watered again. The depth of planting is 75 cm. Near each seedling is placed the top layer of forest soil with fallen leaves and plastic wrap.
The edible part of the truffle is the fruit body containing spores. Fruit bodies are located at a depth of about 20 cm. Dig them with small scapulae. Indicator of the availability of the harvest truffles are the so-called truffle flies.
Interesting facts about the mushroom
- The maximum weight of a truffle reaches 1 kg, although there are also tiny specimens the size of a pea.
- According to one hypothesis, mature truffles contain anandamide, a psychotropic substance that is similar to marijuana in action.
- Since the 15th century, the search for truffles growing in the forest with the help of search dogs and pigs, which can smell truffles under the ground at a distance of 20 m, has been widespread in France and Italy.
- In the 19th century, truffles began to be cultivated; at that time, up to 1000 tons of these mushrooms were harvested. In recent years, the harvest of truffles is about 50 tons. Mushrooms are grown in the USA, Spain, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia and the UK. And at the beginning of the XXI century, China became a major producer of truffles in the world. The Chinese variety is cheaper, but its quality is lower.
Truffles are unusual, primarily because fruit bodies are formed not on the ground, but inside it. Rounded or tuber-like mushrooms have a fleshy and cartilage consistency. Their feature is the marble pattern - the alternation of light and dark stains on the cut. Light streaks are called internal veins, and dark - external. Bags with spores are formed on the internal veins, as well as distributed nests in the fruiting body. Mushrooms grow to different sizes. They can be the size of a walnut or potato tuber.
Young mushrooms have a smooth whitish skin, which eventually turns yellow and becomes light brown. The surface is covered with various folds, cracks and hard "warts". Yellow-whitish dry flesh with numerous brownish streaks, brains when heated turns brown, and gets a chocolate shade.
The truffle is an edible mushroom of the first category with the best consumer and culinary qualities. They are used most often in fresh form for the preparation of fragrant soups, sauces and gravy.
Caloric content of 100 g of a product - 24 kcal.
The chemical composition of truffles:
- proteins - 3 g,
- carbohydrates - 2 g,
- Fat - 0.5 g,
- dietary fiber - 1 g,
- water - 90 g
It also contains vitamins PP, C and B2, a small amount of B1, but there are practically no macro and microelements in the composition.
Where do truffles grow and how to collect them?
Truffle in the forest is not easy to find, it is well hidden under the ground. Summer mushrooms are harvested in summer and autumn, the peak is in August - September. Behind the winter views are sent in February and look for them until March.
The mushroom grows in deciduous, mixed European forests, less often in coniferous forests, as well as on the African continent (in its northern part), Asia and America. He needs moderately moist clay-calcareous soils with an underdeveloped grassy cover on which he forms mycorrhiza with roots of various tree species. Usually truffles grow in small groups of 7 pieces.
Experienced "hunters" for truffles notice hidden mushrooms for minor external signs - this is elevated soil and dried grass. In France, it is customary to look for them with the help of truffle flies, which lay the larvae in the ground near this fungus. The flight of these insects, their large accumulation indicates the close location of the truffles.
But not all such “trackers”, therefore, to search for a delicacy, for a long time, trained animals are used, which are able to smell the peculiar smell of truffles over 20 m. to begin. In Italy, dogs are used for searches; poodles and poochs have become the best search engines. Interestingly, under Moscow until the 1869s, trained bears were looking for truffles.
Varieties of truffles
There are many varieties of fungus, here are the most common:
- Italian truffle (Tuber magnatum), real or "Piedmont" - its area is Piedmont (region of Italy). It grows near birch, lime, elm. It is the most expensive mushroom in the world. It is appreciated for its pleasant taste and cheese-garlic aroma.
- French black (Tuber melanosporum), “Perigord” is found in the groves where hornbeam, beeches and oaks grow. He is considered second in value, second only to Italian. Red-brown or brown-black truffle angularly rounded in shape covered with large warts and small depressions. The flesh is colored reddish and later becomes violet. Its distinguishing feature is a multitude of white and black veins with a red border on the cut of the mushroom. Mushroom bitter taste with a strong aroma.
- Black truffle "Burgundy" (Tuber uncinatum) - a variety of French black that has a nutty flavor and taste of chocolate, grows throughout Europe.
- Summer truffle (Tuber aestivum), “Black Russian” is recognized by its nutty taste and the sweetish aroma of algae. It can be found on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, in the deciduous forests of the Scandinavian countries, Central Europe, Ukraine, and in some regions of Central Asia. It ripens in the summer months.
- Winter truffle (Tuber brumale) ripens in November - February. Hiding in the ground, it is not damaged by frost, but if somehow the fungus was on the surface, then it freezes and loses all its taste qualities. This happens even during the most insignificant frosts. It grows in Switzerland, Italy and France, in the mountains of Crimea. The young mushroom has a reddish-purple color, the mature mushroom becomes almost black and overgrown with many small warts. The ash-gray flesh has white streaks and musky aroma.
- African truffle (Terfezia leonis) grows exclusively in North Africa and in parts of the Middle East. Whitish-yellow mushrooms have a rounded shape. The flesh is light, powdery, with white veins and numerous dark spots. When ripe, it becomes wet.
Fruit bodies of truffle mushrooms differ in a round or tuber-like shape and in sizes from 2.5 to 10 centimeters. Their surface has a dark color - from bluish-black to brownish-black hue. It often contains pyramidal warts, but there are also species with a smooth surface.
The flesh of young truffles is dense, and mature - loose. At first it is whitish, but as it gets older it acquires a brown-yellow tint. On the cut, the light streaks inside the pulp give it a marble color. The taste of truffle pulp is sweetish, reminiscent of a nut. The aroma of the fungus is pleasant, like the smell of algae.
The most common types of truffles are:
It is found in the central part of Europe, including in Russia (its second name is “black Russian”). It is appreciated less than other types of this mushroom. The ripening season of this truffle is the summer period and the first month of autumn.
Grows in Europe and North America. It can also be found in Siberia.
This truffle can be found in the northern regions of Italy and its neighboring areas of France. It is also called Italian or Piedmontese. The surface of such truffles is brownish or with a light ocher color. Inside the mushroom is dense, whitish or yellow-gray, its marble pattern is cream or white. By its smell, this type of truffle looks like cheese with garlic. His collection is usually carried out in October.
It is considered the most valuable among the mushrooms of this species. Most often grows in France. The second name of such a fungus - Perigord - is associated with the growing area. It has a reddish-brown-black color of the surface, dark flesh, a characteristic smell and a pleasant taste. Such a truffle grows in winter, it is harvested in January-March.
This mushroom grows in Switzerland and in France. Also it is found in Ukraine. Its main difference is the ripening period (November-March).
Truffle is an underground mushroom. It usually grows at a shallow depth, and old truffles can appear on the surface. You can find such a mushroom in the woods - both hardwood and mixed (among coniferous trees, truffle appears extremely rarely). He likes calcareous soils and often grows under the roots of birch, oak, hornbeam, beech.
This type of mushroom grows in Central Europe. On the territory of Russia it can be found in the Caucasus on the Black Sea coast. Поиском трюфеля занимаются специально обученные собаки, а также свиньи. Над местами, где растут трюфели, в вечернее время (на закате) можно увидеть рои желтоватых мушек.
Как выбрать и где купить
Поскольку гриб отличается недолгим сроком годности (2-4 дня после сбора), поэтому в свежем виде его едят лишь в сезон собирания. Такие грибы не продаются в обычных супермаркетах. They can be bought in specialized departments and directly from suppliers. Most often truffles are purchased in small batches for restaurants. For long storage, truffles canned and frozen. Transportation of mushrooms is made in special containers, sometimes immersed in olive oil or covered with rice.
Why truffles are very expensive?
The cost of this type of mushroom is very high. A kilogram of such a delicacy costs from 400 euros. The high cost of truffles is ensured by the difficulties of growing, the seasonality of obtaining this mushroom, as well as the high taste and aromatic qualities of the product.
The value of truffles is primarily influenced by the size of the specimens. The larger the mushroom, the higher its cost. The most expensive are mushrooms with a large size (like apples), but such truffles will grow less than 1% of all the collected mushrooms. About 10% of the crop is presented in size, like a nut - these truffles belong to the Extra grade category. Mushrooms with a size like grape, is collected about 30%. The remaining mushrooms are even less, so they are cheaper and are used mainly for making sauces.
When consuming truffles, a person gets with them:
- vitamins C, PP, B1 and B2,
- carbohydrates represented by mono- and disaccharides,
- alimentary fiber,
- The presence of pheromones in the composition of the truffle improves the emotional state of a person.
- There are many antioxidants in this type of mushroom.
- Truffle juice can treat eye diseases.
- The positive effect of the use of truffles for patients with gout.
The use of truffles is not recommended for:
- Individual intolerance (it is extremely rare).
- Digestive problems.
- A serving of truffles for one dish rarely amounts to more than 5-8 grams. Weigh the mushroom in a restaurant on very accurate scales.
- Often truffle acts as an additive to the main dish. The mushroom is cut on a special grater.
- This mushroom is wonderfully combined with any products, especially with dishes that do not have a particularly pronounced taste.
- In French cooking, truffles are most often combined with poultry, langoustines, eggs, and fruits.
- The mushroom can be served in its pure form, and to emphasize the taste, it offers creamy or wine sauce.
- From small truffles make fillings for pies, truffle sauces.
- Black caviar, snails and other exotic dishes often decorate the mushroom with slices.
You can learn more about truffle mushrooms from the following Galileo video program.
Beauticians in Italy include truffle extract in masks and skin creams. They argue that the addition of this fungus to cosmetics helps tighten the skin, remove pigment spots, cope with fine wrinkles.
To grow mushroom truffle in France began in 1808, having landed the first truffle oaks. Later truffle groves were created, yielding up to a thousand tons of mushrooms per year. The decline of the agricultural industry of the country affected the cultivation of truffles. Every year from the French plantations of truffle mushrooms harvest less and less.
In addition to France, these mushrooms are grown in China (now this country leads in the cultivation of truffles), Great Britain, the United States, Sweden and Spain, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. The truffle grown in China is less aromatic, but it attracts by its low price and great similarity of appearance and taste with its French counterpart. To improve the quality of mushrooms supplied from China, they are mixed with truffles grown in France.
Description of deer truffles.
The fruit body of deer truffles develops underground. Its diameter is 1-5 centimeters, and the weight reaches 18 grams. When dried, its volume remains almost unchanged. The shape of the fruit body is tuberiform or round. Outwardly deer truffles look like walnuts or hazelnuts. To the touch mushroom tight.
The fruit body is covered with a thick, well-marked bumpy or warty bark, the thickness of which is 2-4 millimeters. The color of the fungus is light yellow, rusty brown, red brown, golden brown or dark brown. In March, bright dark orange specimens can come across.
The legs of the deer truffle are not available. The pulp is hard, radially colored. It consists of several layers: the edge is thin orange, then there is a near-surface thin whitish layer, followed by a much thicker brown-gray layer, then a thin white layer, and the central part is a large gray-black color. Sometimes the center may be white with dirty-gray patches. The flesh of truffle deer tastes bitter, and its smell is unpleasant or may be almost absent.
In young specimens, the pulp is light marble, reddish, with spots. In mature mushrooms, the flesh turns to purple or purple-brown dust. This powder mass consists mainly of spores. The color of the spores depends on the degree of maturity of the fruit body and varies from black-brown to black.
Places of truffle deer growth.
Most often deer truffles grow in pine forests, less often they settle in spruce forests, they can also be found in deciduous forests and parks. Reindeer truffles grow on sandy soil, they lie shallow from the surface - right under the forest floor, under a layer of needles or under moss.
They can be found at a depth of 1-16 centimeters, on average, they occur at a depth of 5 centimeters. Deer truffle mycelium envelops the roots of trees, forming mycorrhiza with them. Many species of trees are suitable for this.
These mushrooms are rarely found on the Karelian Isthmus, they were found there only in abnormal warm winters. They grow in small groups and singly. In St. Petersburg, they also rarely come across, were found only in a single place.
Twins truffle deer.
Deer truffle bears a special resemblance to its closest relative - prickly truffle, which is covered with a yellow-brown warty shell. Prickly truffles grow under birch trees.
There is also a slight resemblance to small edible red-brown truffles, the kidney-shaped or tuberous bodies of which reach a diameter of 7 centimeters. Their surface is red-brown or pink-brown, and the flesh is brain-like, marble-yellowish in color, fragrant.
Evaluation of edible truffle deer.
They do not eat these mushrooms, but reindeer truffles are a delicacy for many forest dwellers - squirrels, badgers, deer, mice, boars, and so on. In years when there are few seeds, squirrels often dig in the ground to find these truffles. They can smell mushrooms at a depth of 5-8 centimeters and even find them under the snow.
Northern hunters call these mushrooms "parushkami" or "Pargami". They are the best bait for squirrels.
Interesting information about the deer truffles.
Deer truffle is a marsupial underground fungus. He has absolutely nothing to do with this truffle, but these mushrooms were used as fake truffles. In the genus there are about 20 species that grow in deciduous and coniferous forests of Europe. And in our country there are only 2 similar species.
On deer truffles, another fungus often parasitizes - Cordyceps, ofiroglossovidny. The club-shaped bodies of black color of this fungus protrude from the ground, which means that there are deer truffles in the soil. Cordyceps ofiroglossovidny grows in pine, spruce and oak forests.
17 years after the accident at Chernobyl, the Swiss Ministry of Health conducted a study that showed that in 2003 deer truffle mycelium contained an increased amount of radioactive cesium-137, and it got into the organisms of local boars.
Mushroom truffle: description and characteristics. What does a truffle look like?
In most cases, the size of a mushroom truffle is slightly larger than a nut, but some specimens may exceed the size of a large potato tuber and weigh more than 1 kilogram. The truffle itself is like a potato. The outer layer (peridium), covering the fungus, may have a smooth surface or cut with numerous cracks, and also may be covered with characteristic multi-faceted warts.
The cross section of the fungus is characterized by a pronounced marble texture. It is formed by the alternation of light "internal veins" and "external veins" of a darker shade, on which spore bags with various shapes are located. The color of the pulp of the truffle depends on the species: it can be white, black, chocolate, gray.
Where and how do truffles grow?
Mushrooms truffles grow underground in small groups, in which there are from 3 to 7 fruit bodies that have a cartilaginous or fleshy consistency.
The distribution area of truffles is extensive: this delicacy is gathered in the deciduous and coniferous forests of Europe and Asia, North Africa and the United States of America.
For example, the mycelium of the Piedmontese truffle, which grows in northern Italy, forms a symbiosis with the roots of birch, poplar, elm, and linden, and the fruiting bodies of black Perigord truffles can be found in Spain, Switzerland, and in the south of France in groves consisting of oak, hornbeam or beech trees.
Black summer truffle prefers deciduous or mixed forests and calcareous soils of Central Europe, the countries of Scandinavia, the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, Ukraine, as well as certain regions of Central Asia.
Winter truffle grows not only in the groves of Switzerland and France, but also in the mountain forests of the Crimea. The fruit bodies of white Moroccan truffles can be found in the forests located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa. This truffle mushroom grows near the roots of cedar, oak and pine.
How truffles grow
Where do truffles grow in Russia?
Summer truffles are growing in Russia (black Russian truffle). They are found in the Caucasus, on the Black Sea coast, in the Crimea in deciduous and mixed forests. It is better to search for them under the roots of hornbeam, beech, and oak. In coniferous forests, they are rare.
Also in the Crimea, you can find a winter truffle. This mushroom grows from November to February-March.
White truffles (golden truffles), which are a very rare species, grow on the territory of Russia. They can be found in the Vladimir, Oryol, Kuibyshev, Nizhny Novgorod, Smolensk and Samara regions. White truffles also grow on the territory of the Moscow Region (in the Moscow region) and the Leningrad Region.
How to look for truffles? Animals to search for mushrooms
Finding and collecting truffles is not easy: lovers of “quiet hunting” use a lot of tricks and subtleties to come home with the desired prey. The place where truffles can be found is usually distinguished by a stunted vegetation, the earth is ash gray. The mushroom rarely comes to the surface of the soil, more often it hides in the ground, but you should pay attention to the hillocks: if you thought that the place is “truffle”, do not be lazy to dig up a few hillocks - perhaps you will stumble upon a family of delicious mushrooms. True mushroom picker professionals while hunting for truffles can determine the “dislocation” of mushrooms by simply tapping the ground with a stick, but this is already experience gained over the years. Often, the midges are circling over mature truffles, which can also help in the search for forest delicacy.
A truffle mushroom is a source of a very strong smell, and if it is impossible to catch it under a layer of soil, then animals feel it from a distance. The method is based on this fact, when animals were specially trained to search for truffles: dogs and even pigs!
Surprisingly, the pig is able to smell the truffle at a distance of 20-25 meters. Then she starts eagerly digging up a treat, so the main task of the mushroom picker is to divert the animal as soon as it “makes a stand” on the mushroom.
Pig seeking truffles
For dogs, truffle itself is absolutely not interesting in terms of food, but these four-legged "detectives" have to be trained for a long time in order to drag on the truffle smell.
By the way, a good mushroom picker dog today can cost more than 5,000 euros.
Dog looking for truffles
The black summer, he is also a black Russian, grows in deciduous or mixed forests under the roots of oak, beech or birch. Prefers soil with lime. Distributed in Central Europe, is found on the coast of the Caucasus. The season of this mushroom is summer and early autumn. The black summer fruit body has a tuber like or roundish, bluish or brown (closer to black) with black warts. The diameter reaches 10 cm.
The flesh of a young fungus is quite dense, the older it is, the softer it is. The color of the pulp also changes with age from light to brownish. It tastes sweetish with a nutty flavor. The smell is similar to the scent of algae. Black summer is valued less than its relatives, although it is a delicacy.
Winter truffle can be collected from late fall to March. It grows in Italy, Switzerland, in Western Ukraine and in the mountainous regions of Crimea.
The mushroom has a spherical shape up to 20 cm in diameter. The weight of an adult copy can reach a kilogram and even more. Outside is covered with numerous warts. The flesh with yellowish streaks resembles a marble pattern. It is initially light, but eventually turns gray or even takes on a purple hue.
It has a strong musky odor. Not valued as much as the other "black" relatives.
Black Perigord (French)
The Perigord truffle got its name from the historical region of Périgord in France. But it is also found in Italy (Umbria), Spain and Croatia. Harvest season is from November to March.
The tuberous fruit body is up to 9 cm in diameter. The color of the young specimen is reddish brown, the old one is black. The color of the pulp is gray or pinkish over time, from the appearance of the spores becomes dark brown or black, but the light streaks remain. The finish is bitter, and the smell reminds someone of chocolate, and someone - expensive alcohol.
This mushroom got its name from the territory in which it grows. Himalayan truffle is a variety of black winter. The period of fruiting is from mid-November to February.
The mushroom itself is rather small, in diameter only up to 5 cm. Its weight is not more than 50 g. The rind is dark with small growths. The flesh is elastic dark purple, almost black. Aroma with pronounced forest notes.
White Piedmontese (Italian)
It is most common in the Italian region of Piedmont and in the regions of France that border it. Most often grows in deciduous forests under oak, willow, poplar, occasionally under linden. The collection period is from the second decade of September to the end of January.
Tubers in diameter up to 12 cm. Weight - up to 300 g, but occasionally there are specimens and up to 1 kg in weight. The surface is velvety, light orange or brown. The flesh is elastic, can be white or yellow-gray. The streaks forming the marble pattern are light or creamy brown.
The aroma of white truffles combines the smell of cheese and garlic.
White Oregon (American)
This type of truffle can be found in the northwest United States. It grows shallow in the soil near conifers. Gather it from October to January.
Fruit body in diameter up to 7 cm. Weight can reach 250 g. The rind is light brown, the flesh is golden brown with light streaks. The aroma of this forest delicacy has herbal and floral notes.
This mushroom grows throughout Europe and in western Russia (to the Urals). Prefers soil near coniferous trees or oak. Fruits in late spring to August.
Tuber diameter up to 4 cm. Weight rarely exceeds 80 g.
The mushroom is red-brown in color. The flesh is quite dense, dirty pink or beige. The aroma contains notes of grass, wine and coconut.
Brilliant Red is the “brother” of the red truffle. It is found in the forests of Europe and Russia, most often under the oak.
The underground inhabitants themselves are very small - they do not exceed 4 cm in diameter. The weight is about 45 g.
The skin is beige or brown. The flesh is grayish or brown with white veins. The smell of this copy has wine-pear notes with a light coconut fragrance.
This species, like many others, got its name from the place of growth (Burgundy). Its ripening period is from June to October.
The mushroom has a rounded shape, not exceeding 8 cm in diameter. The weight reaches 300 g. Being a type of black fungus, the Burgundy autumn has a dark, almost black skin. The flesh is light brown with light streaks.
Autumn truffle has the smell of hazelnut and chocolate, for which it is valued by gourmets.
This type of truffle grows in southwest China. Prefers cohabitation with oak, chestnut and pine. The period of its growth - from December to February.
Tuber diameter up to 10 cm. Weight can reach up to 500 g. The rind is dark, dense. The flesh is elastic, dark color with gray veins. The aroma is pronounced only in mature mushrooms. There are cases when the truffle is artificially flavored to give out for the Perigord.
Where and how grows
Truffles are earth dwellers. They grow under the ground at the roots of trees. Each species prefers a particular locality and trees.
The geography of growth of these mushrooms is quite diverse. They can be found throughout Europe, in the warm corners of Russia, in the north of Africa and in the west of North America.
Most prefer broadleaf trees - oak, birch, beech, poplar, elm, linden. Some grow under cedar or pine.
Подземный житель любит тёплый, мягкий климат, поэтому в наших широтах его можно встретить в лесах Западной Украины, в Крыму, в российских лесах до Урала и на Кавказе, а также в Беловежской пуще и Гомельской области Беларуси.
Benefit and harm
Витамины и минералы, содержащиеся в этих грибах, положительно влияют на здоровье человека:
- оказывают антиоксидантное влияние,
- help accelerate the recovery of the skin with cuts or diseases,
- prevent the development of malignant tumors in the large intestine,
- help maintain skin tone, reduce the appearance of wrinkles,
- beneficial effect on the microflora in the intestine.
How to use in cooking
These mushrooms differ from other relatives in their special taste and aroma. The smell of these mushrooms may have nutty or herbal notes.
Truffle is used as an additive to sauces or as an aromatic spice, but most often this product is served raw, rubbed on a grater and added to the main course. It is by entering into contact with other products that the aroma of truffles is revealed in full. The taste of this mushroom is similar to roasted nuts or seeds. It is inseparable from the aroma, gourmets sometimes say that they “eat the smell”.
Why truffles are so expensive
The high cost of truffles is caused by the fact that they are “mined” very little. This mushroom does not grow in every forest or even in every region. In addition, it is not so easy to find, because it does not come to the surface. And completing its uniqueness is that it is a seasonal product.
Add to this a pleasant taste and breathtaking aroma - that’s what we get is a rare, expensive delicacy.
By the way, the cost of white truffles can reach 4 thousand euro / kg. The larger it is, the more expensive it is. Black congener will cost from 1500 to 2500 dollars per kilogram.
There is an opinion that having tried once this strange mushroom, its taste and aroma remain forever in memory. In addition to taste, this product is still very useful for the body. Gourmets advise: if you have the opportunity to taste this delicacy - do not miss it.