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Truffles are a sort of mushroom that lives below ground. They form a symbiotic relationship with their environment and feed on the substances they find on the roots of some species of trees to which they also restore vital substances.
Since they live in symbiosis with trees, the most important species for truffles are walnut, poplar, hazel, linden, chestnut, pine, oak (turkey oak, durmast oak, little oak, English oak, Adriatic oak, and Holm oak).
Each type of tree gives the truffle a different characteristic; such as the oak, which is always closest to the best truffles.
The body of the truffle is spherical in shape, varying in size from a hazelnut to a melon, with a more or less even surface
The outer part of the truffle (peridium), which is more simply known as the peel or skin can be white, yellow, dark grey or black and smooth or warty according to the different species
The peridium protects the truffle against bacteria and mould.
The main characteristic of the truffle is its smell, which can be perceived even from a distance.
Different species of truffle have different smells, but in each case, the aroma is difficult to describe because it cannot be compared to that of any other edible fruit or mushroom
This adds to the truffle’s rarity and uniqueness.
Inside the fruit is the flesh or gleba, which is differently coloured according to the species, the host tree, and to the minerals in the soil.
For example, the gleba of the white truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico) is almost white if the fruit lives with the willow or poplar, while it is dark hazelnut in colour if it lives close to an oak, and it also has red marks if it lives in symbiosis with the linden.

To this range of colours we can add the singular, unique shade of the black winter truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vitt.), which has a gleba that, when fully ripe, becomes a blackish shade of purple.
The main characteristics for distinguishing the different species are:
The soil, the plants with which the truffle has a symbiotic relationship, and the area or countries in which the truffles grow.
However, the main difference is that between the black and white truffle.
The black winter truffle is found in France (Perigord, Vaucluse) and in Norcia, Umbria.
That is why the truffle is known as the Norcia or Perigord black truffle
The best truffle of all is the white truffle, followed by the black winter truffle.
The best white truffle is found in Alba, Piedmont or in the Monferrato region and in the Marches region in Acqualagna.

The seasons for the sale of truffles are:
White truffle from 1 October to 31 December.
Black winter truffle from 1 December to 15 March.
Black summer truffle or "Scorzone" from 1 May to 31 December.
Small white truffle or "Marzuolo" from 15 January to 30 April.