What Is Truffle;10 Facts You Must Know

The Truffle is a hypogean mushroom (which lives underground) in the shape of a tuber, which lives in symbiosis with the roots of some plants, such as, for example, oak, linden, hazel, hornbeam and poplar.They spontaneously grow in the soil, and on the roots of some trees.

The truffle: characteristics and nomenclature

The truffle is made up of two parts: an external rind known as the peridium , which can take on different characteristics from species to species and according to the type of soil in which it grows; and the internal fleshy part, called gleba , composed of 80% of water, fats between 1 and 6% and the residual part of fibers and mineral salts, such as potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, organic substances that it draws from its tree. Its color varies from brown to pink, from white to gray and veins may be present.

The shape of the carpophore, the fruiting body, may vary according to the type of soil that hosts the truffle: if the earth is soft, the truffle will have the  spherical globular carpophore, if the earth is stony and with many roots, the carpophore will be  uneven and lumpy . Another curious characteristic of the truffle is its high sensitivity: the precious mushroom does not tolerate environmental pollution and therefore it is impossible for it to grow in unhealthy areas. A real sentinel of nature .

The main types of truffle

In nature there are numerous species of truffles, but not all of them are valuable and edible. There are only nine edible species , of which only six are currently available on the market:

  • The precious white truffle or Tuber Magnatum Pico
  • The Bianchetto or Marzuolo truffle or Tuber Borchii Vittadini
  • The precious black truffle or Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini
  • The black summer truffle or Scorzone or Tuber Aestivum Vittadini
  • The black winter truffle or Tuber Brumale Vittadini
  • The smooth black truffle or Tuber Macrosporum Vittadini

Each of these types has its own organoleptic characteristics, its own symbiotic plants, its own collection places and reference prices. To learn more about all these aspects, we invite you to visit the section dedicated to the types of truffles .

Desert truffles: terfezie

Among the types of truffles are also included the terfezie , mushrooms belonging to the Terfeziaceae family , better known as desert truffles precisely because they grow in the desert and semi-desert areas of those countries that overlook the Mediterranean. Desert truffles are as appreciated as classic truffles and are the protagonists of numerous recipes, especially in the Mediterranean area, even if their value on the market is generally lower.

Black truffle contraindications and warnings

The truffle may have some contraindications among patients suffering from renella and from liver problems as the frequent consumption of this fungus could make the liver and kidneys heavier. But since the consumption of truffles is usually occasional, and usually linked to travel in the home areas or to a special restaurant dinner, for healthy and non-allergic people, truffles should not present any problems.

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