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
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
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
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
The best truffle of all is the white truffle, followed by the black
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.