Buying truffles is an exciting moment; however, the choice must be made wisely based on the needs and budget to ensure that consumption also brings the right emotion.
How to pick the truffle
The things to always check when buying in person are:
- the appearance of the truffle, which should be sold already well cleaned and without unusual colors compared to the morphological characteristics of the species
- the consistency, which must be firm, not too soft (tendency to rot) nor too hard
- the smell, which must not have unpleasant musty or rotten odors, but must conform to the characteristic aroma of the species.
Beware of scams
Since this is a market that is often the victim of scams, it is essential to get a minimum of knowledge about the product before buying it, as well as preferably relying on known or recommended sellers.
To make an informed purchase it is important to know the price range of the species you are going to choose.
It should be borne in mind, however, that the price of truffles fluctuates frequently, based on the place of origin, the time of year, but also on the availability of the season.
Another information to know is that concerning aesthetics (especially speaking of the Alba White truffle): the price is very much determined by the size in grams of the single piece and its appearance.
In fact, a hectogram made up of 10 small truffles costs much less than a single truffle of a hectogram, while a round and smooth truffle is worth much more than one with a lumpy surface.
It must absolutely be remembered that this is a purely aesthetic rule, never qualitative.
Not all rumors are correct: pay attention to how you store the truffle!
The fresh truffle must be treated with care and attention until the moment of consumption in order not to risk compromising the characteristics that make it a treasure of the earth.
When purchasing, make sure that before arriving home the truffle does not stay hours in too hot environments such as dashboards, trunks, radiators, etc.
Once you get home, you need to put it back in the fridge: to prevent the smell from spreading overwhelmingly, just close it in a container, wrapped in absorbent paper. The absorbent paper should be changed every day in order to keep the fungus in a dry and clean atmosphere.
Note well: some recommend dipping it in rice, but this is a misleading rumor that would cause the truffle to dry out too much.
How long does it keep?
It is important to ask this question to the seller at the time of purchase: even truffles from the same “hunt” may have different storage times, based on the degree of ripeness, size and other aspects that an expert trifulau can recognize.
In any case, it is always advisable to consume truffles 4/5 days after purchase … not weeks as someone would like to do every now and then!
We must always remember that it is a fruit of the earth and as such follows a life cycle that is not infinite: it is not a trophy to be displayed but a delicacy to taste.
Here are some tips on how to best use it
The consumption of truffles represents the final act of the experience, which is why it is also a step to be carried out with care.
First, the truffle is extracted from the refrigerator and the final cleaning is carried out without soaps or similar products, but only with fresh running water and a soft brush with which the truffle is rubbed while the water runs over it.
Before putting them on the table, they should be dried slightly with absorbent paper.
Remember that no kind of truffle requires peeling, not even those with the most important and pronounced rind: it would be a sacrilegious waste … you eat everything of the truffle!
Raw or cooked?
Usually, apart from some recipes that require cooking such as fillings, the truffle is eaten raw by cutting it into thin slices on the desired dishes just before tasting them, possibly with the appropriate tool.
Personally, we prefer to use the Precious White Alba truffle with a thin cut to ensure that it releases its scent to the maximum, while with Black Summer truffles we prefer to make thicker slices: this type of truffle has its strong points in the crunchiness and flavor to the bite.
First of all, it is necessary to carefully evaluate how many will be consuming it, and on how many and which courses you intend to pair it with.
As for the quantity, which is very subjective and depends on how much you have, it must be said that the truffle makes the most of raw Albese meat, fried eggs or hot fondue, so, for these dishes, even 5 g is enough.
If the idea is to use it for first courses, our advice is to cut at least 8/9 g per dish.
It should be remembered that the truffle prefers delicate tastes, dishes not too seasoned with strong flavors or spices. The Alba White, in particular, should be consumed on dishes without any sauces.
Having said that, we still recommend letting yourself be guided by your imagination and personal taste, through which you can discover surprising combinations.