The outer skin (peridium) of Fresh Black Winter Truffles (tuber melanosporum) adheres firmly to the flesh and features small pyramidal cusps. When not yet fully ripe they have a reddish tone, turning brown black as they ripen. The flesh (gleba) is initially white, but as the truffle ripens it darkens to purple-black, with violet hues and numerous thin sterile white veins. The aroma is intense and lasting, reminiscent of hazelnuts, while the flavour is pleasant and intense.
Storing Fresh Black Winter Truffles: they can be stored short term in a fridge, and longer term in a freezer:
1) In the fridge (2°/6°), wrap each truffle in absorbent kitchen paper and store inside an airtight food container. Change the paper if necessary, even every day. Small spots of white mould will form, as a result of the normal process of transpiration and water loss, but this does not impair the truffle’s quality. On the contrary, when they start becoming soft and smelling badly they are spoiling. Refrigerator storage time is approx. 5 to 10 days.
2) In the freezer:
a) Whole: after washing and drying, the Fresh Black Winter Truffles, as shown previously, can be frozen whole, inside a glass or plastic food container. In this case, use the truffles while still frozen. Freezer storage time is approx. 5 months.
b) Preserved in oil: after washing and drying the Fresh Truffles, as shown previously, mince and heat in a small saucepan with extravirgin olive oil or butter. Remove from the heat before they reach boiling point and leave to cool. Portion the truffles (for example, in portions for 4/5 persons) in airtight food containers, cover with extravirgin olive oil or butter and place in the freezer. Storage time is approx. 6 months.
Cooking with Fresh Black Winter Truffles: clean the truffles by delicately brushing them under running water and pat dry with a dry cloth; tip: immerse in cold water for about 10 minutes. Slice with a truffle slicer over your main courses or side dishes. They go very well with extravirgin olive oil or butter. To best appreciate the distinctive flavour and aroma of truffles do not cook them but use them raw or just warm. They can also be used to spice up ravioli or tortellini fillings.
Suggested recipe: Pork loin with black winter truffles
See other truffle recipes: Sulpizio Tartufi Recipe Book