The outer skin (peridium) of Fresh Black Summer Truffles tuber aestivum vitt. (100 g packages and in pieces weighing between 15 and 75 g.) forms prominent pyramidal warts resembling rough bark (in fact, in Italy they are also called Scorzone, “bark”). They are reddish when not yet fully ripe and turn blacker as they ripen. The firm flesh (gleba) is initially whitish, but then turns ochre or hazel-coloured, sometimes with reddish spots and very thin branching white veins. The aroma is pleasant, while the flavour is reminiscent of porcini mushrooms.
Storing Fresh Black Summer 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. Can be stored for approx. 7 to 15 days.
2) In the freezer:
a) Whole: wash and dry the Fresh Black Summer 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 Summer 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. Fresh truffles can be used in a wide range of recipes. The dishes should not be too elaborate to highlight the flavour of the truffle. To best appreciate the distinctive flavour and aroma of truffles do not cook them but use them raw or just warm.
Suggested recipe: Risotto with Black Summer Truffles
See other truffle recipes: Sulpizio Tartufi Recipe Book