White Truffles: what and they are and how to prepare them

Apr 22, 2024 Uncategorized
White Truffles: what and they are and how to prepare them

The white truffle is currently the finest truffle that can be found on the market and it is also confirmed by the high price to which this product is sold. Many names can be used to refer to this truffle; white  and Alba white truffle. It is a precious truffle, very appreciated especially in haute cuisine because for its cost it is not easily accessible to everyone and it is not often used for the preparation of daily dishes. The white truffle is an underground fungus, which grows inside the ground and grows to a maximum of one meter deep from the surface. As far as the dimensions are concerned, it is possible to find white truffle with very variable dimensions and weight. Usually, there are small white truffles, with a volume similar to a walnut, but you can also find much larger ones, a finding that would be a big blow considering the price of this truffle.

The Italian white truffle has a much lighter external surface than the black truffle, while the pulp has a hazelnut color, sometimes even a more intense brown. The flesh can also be characterized by the presence of white veins and sometimes it can take on colors with shades tending to red.

As far as the shape is concerned, it usually has a round shape, which can be more or less regularly depending on the soil in which it grows. In soils rich in stones, the white truffle will tend to assume a roundish but irregular shape, with bumps and compression zones, while in the homogeneous soils it will have a regular shape. It is important to analyze the shape and the external surface of the truffle because this is one of the elements that affect the final value of the white truffle of Alba.

We have stated that this variety of truffle is the most prized ever, in fact, the white truffle is also the one that has the highest price of all. On average this product is sold at $1,000 per kilo, but in reality, the price varies depending on the characteristics of the truffle and the area in which it was developed.

Among the environmental factors that can affect the price, we find both the plants present in the area of growth of the truffle and the characteristics of the soil, which inevitably affect its quality. Annual rainfall and temperature variations are also factors to be taken into account when estimating the cost of the white truffle.

Finally, it should be noted that the price is also dictated by the customers’ requests, as well as the availability of the white truffle. It is the normal law of the market, based on supply and demand which fluctuate the value of the product.All these factors can cause the cost of the white truffle to move both upwards and downwards compared to the average price of $1,000 per kilo that we have indicated.

History of the white truffle

The truffle is a food that has always been appreciated for years. The history of the white truffle is very interesting, especially because this variety of truffle, which we have said is the most prized, has been featured in many ancient books. The first book on the white truffle was published in 1780 in Milan.

Where is white truffle found?

The white truffle has a particular characteristic: it does not grow everywhere in the world, but only in Italy and in some areas of Istria. This means that not a lot of white truffles are collected and from this derives the first factor that affects the cost of the product.

Another aspect to consider is that, unlike other truffle varieties, white truffle cannot be cultivated. This also greatly reduces the number of white truffles that can be produced, leading to a further increase in cost.

We have already said that it is an underground fungus, explaining that it grows inside the soil, up to a maximum of one meter deep. Usually, the growth takes place in the vicinity of the roots of the trees.

The white truffle grows thanks to a symbiosis, especially with the oak and Holm oak, so it is easier to find it in areas where these trees are present.

The period of maturation of this variety of truffle goes from October to December, so it grows in the same period of the winter foreshortening.

Nutrition properties of the white truffle

The white truffle is well known for its nutritional properties. They are very similar to those of the black truffle; in particular, they have the same caloric value: one hundred grams of product give only 31 calories.

Italian truffle has low-fat content: in one hundred grams of product, there are only 0.6 grams of lipids. It also has high protein content.

Rich in calcium content, phosphorus and fiber which is essential for the well-being of bones and teeth. Vitamin C is also present, along with vitamin B1 and vitamin B2, which are, however, present in small quantities.

These nutritional properties make white truffle an excellent ingredient for your diet. It is a pity that the cost is very high and that therefore it is not possible to eat this food very often.

How to cook the white truffle

As this is one of the most prized foods of all, it is necessary to understand how to cook the white truffle before using it, because it would be preferable not to make mistakes.

The first point to be respected is the following: the white truffle should not be cooked. This applies both to the truffle we have described and to all the other varieties of white truffle.

The black truffle can be heated or cooled for a few minutes, without the process altering its characteristics, while the white variety does not stand the heat.

This type of truffle must be eaten raw. The white truffle must, therefore, be used as a condiment. Before using the truffle it is important to wash it well, to remove any lumps of earth. To wash it, simply put it under running water and rub it with little force with a brush. The brush used must have soft bristles because too hard bristles could damage the product.

For consumption, we recommend cutting it into thin slices. To obtain perfect slices you can use a special tool, called a truffle cutter, whose function is precisely to cut the truffle thinly.

To get the most out of this precious ingredient, we recommend tasting it directly sliced, or to accompany the eggs on the stake, the tajarin and the fondue. Tajarin is a typical Piedmontese pasta and is often prepared with white truffle, which can enhance their flavor enhanced by this type of pasta.

Another recipe to be mentioned is typical of Alba, an area known for the production of the white version of truffles and home of the raw meat carpaccio all’Albese. The recipe for this dish includes walker or round of thigh, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, salt, cloves and of course white truffle of Alba.

The truffle must be added to the dish a few minutes before serving on the table: remember that it must be sliced raw, served to accompany the meat, and that it must not be present in the cooking phase of the dish.

In addition to raw meat carpaccio, which can be offered both as an appetizer and as a main course, you can also prepare a delicious truffle fillet, to which give the flavor of white truffles laminated a few minutes before presenting the dish to diners.

Also for the white variety of truffles, there is the classic first course, in this case, the risotto with white truffle, obtained by cutting the slices in oil at the end of the preparation of the risotto. Or white truffle can be used to embellish a mushroom risotto, whose flavor can be further enhanced by this additional ingredient.

There are therefore many recipes with white truffles from which to draw inspiration and try to live a meal with a unique taste, obtained thanks to the use of a really valuable ingredient, the most valuable truffle of all that is currently on the market.

Many of the dishes proposed can also be prepared with other varieties of truffles, but the taste of the white truffle is inimitable.

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