The Black Winter Truffle or Winter Scorzone (Tuber Uncinatum Chatin) is very similar to the summer variety and many experts believe the two are related. The outer rind is very rough and features wart-like hook-shaped protuberances, which give it its Italian name; when fully ripe, the flesh has a more or less intense chocolaty colour. It is intensely aromatic, while the flavour is very pleasant and enhances any dish you use it with.
How to store fresh Black Winter Truffle or Winter Scorzone: this truffle keeps well if refrigerated, for a few days, or can be deep-frozen for longer periods:
1) in the refrigerator (between 2nd and 6th), wrap each truffle, individually, in kitchen paper and then place inside an airtight food box; replace the paper every day, if necessary. You will notice white mould forming around the truffle, but this is normal and due to its natural loss of water; if this happens, it means that the truffle is still good. It is no longer good if it starts losing its firmness and becomes soft and starts smelling bad. Storage period: between approx.. 7 and 15 days.
2) In the deep-freezer:
a) Whole: clean and dry the black winter truffle, as described earlier on, and deep freeze whole in a glass or plastic food container. In this case it must be used while still frozen. Storage period: about 5 months.
b) Sauce: clean and dry the fresh truffles, as described earlier on, and then grind and heat them inside a saucepan with extra-virgin olive oil or butter. Before the mixture comes to the boil, turn off the cooker and leave to cool. Portion the sauce in airtight food containers (enough for 4/5 persons), cover with extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter and deep freeze. Storage period: about 6 months.
Cooking suggestions and tips with Black Winter Truffles or Winter Scorzone: clean using a small medium-hard bristled brush under running water and dry with a dry cloth; let the truffles stand in cold water for about 10 minutes. Slice with a truffle-slicer over pasta, rice or meat dishes or vegetables and combine with extra-virgin olive oil or butter. Fresh truffles can be used in many recipes. Keep your recipes as simple as possible so as not to cover the flavour of the truffles; it can be enjoyed raw or warm, but do not cook. Cooking truffles, in fact, may ruin its properties.
Suggested recipe: Risotto with Black Winter Truffle.
See other truffle recipes: Sulpizio Tartufi Recipe Book