The world of truffles

huge-italian-truffleThe earliest records appear on the nose since the time of the Roman Pliny the Elder in the first century AD, and even before the poet Juvenal said that the origin of the precious fungus, is due to a thunderbolt hurled by Jupiter near an oak tree (tree considered sacred to the father of the gods). As Jupiter was also famous for his prodigious sexual activity, truffle has always been attributed aphrodisiac qualities. 

The truffles are relatively rare, since their growth is dependent on seasonal factors as well as environmental. In some years of particularly scarce come to cost very high figures (for the finest white, sometimes they came to € 4,500 per kilo).

Italy is one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of truffles. Throughout the Peninsula you can collect all kinds of truffles used in cooking. The most important areas for the production of white truffles are, because of their geography, Tuscany, the Marches, Umbria

Far more common however the black truffle, which sees in Umbria and Molise some of the most suitable areas for its production, is the summer variety (the so-called "scorzone"), is the most prized variety winter truffle (Tuber melanosporum). Other productions, recently discovered in Campania, Calabria, Basilicata and Sicily, where the truffles have begun to be valued only in very recent times.

In Italy it is always possible to collect truffles, unless the period of the end of April. Traditionally, the collection was done using a pig. The problem with this method is that the pig is fond of truffles, and must hold to prevent him from eating found. Nowadays, in Italy it takes only properly trained dogs. Do not use special breeds

The cultivation of truffles or truffle is at an experimental stage in Italy and France. To create a suitable land for intensive production of truffles or truffle planted, you must choose a calcareous soil, poor in humus, choose a variety of truffles and truffle planting trees and shrubs (oak, hazel, willow, oak). The seedlings are first micorizzate, or the roots are already in symbiosis with fungal hyphae chosen. The results of the truffle has been disappointing with the most prized species of truffle, while the other species production reached excellent levels of quality and quantity. Given the strong demand there were still strong impact on prices.

Proper marketing

Rarely is sold whole and fresh, due to the exorbitant cost, the difficulty of transport and storage and the characteristic attitude of the nose to be transformed in a creative way. That is needed is a small amount of truffle to flavor a dish or sauce, and the huge added value processing stimulates the proliferation of small processors. Are normally prepared jars with truffles whole small, and other products based on this mushroom carpaccio (or in very thin slices), including ready-made sauces usually a base of fungi, which are suitable for use on crouton, toasted bread , durum wheat pasta, fresh pasta or soy fillet steaks. Other preparations common brandy and bitter truffle. Olive oil flavored with truffles are in high demand, but due to difficulties in the production process. This fragrance is often also added to sauces with chopped truffle. To avoid buying synthetic products should be observed if the label will show "aroma" which means, in practice, based on bis-metiltiometano. When the product is natural does not appear in any specific genre or is specified as "natural flavoring".



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