The Périgord truffle or “tuber melanosporum” is a tuber that ripens in winter and grows in symbiosis with different types of trees, such as oak, hornbeam and hazel. This variety of truffles is harvested, or “hunted”, from November 15th to March 15th and is done with the help of specially trained dogs. The Périgord truffle grows in a particular way in Piedmont, although in Umbria we have the very famous black truffle of Norcia and the famous “hunting grounds” of Monte Nerone, whose truffles are characterised by their distinctive aroma.
Characteristics of the Périgord truffle
The Périgord truffle is immediately recognisable by truffle hunters due to a number of characteristics:
- a rounded shape and sizes that vary from those of a hazelnut to those of a large potato, with a weight that can even exceed 1 kg;
- wrinkled black skin studded with small warts;
- black-purplish flesh streaked with white veins, which take on a reddish colour when exposed to air and tend to blacken when cooked.
Périgord truffle in the kitchen
The Périgord truffle is characterised by a delicate and pleasant aroma and a distinctive almost sweet flavour. That is why it is also called “sweet black truffle“. The Périgord truffle is the star of many dishes: it is delicious eaten raw, in most cases it is added at the end of cooking. Heat does not spoil its aromatic compounds and is a variety of truffle suitable for any method of preparation and preservation.
Dishes with olive oil and creaming enhance its aromas, even if it is most commonly sliced raw to add the finishing touch to risotto.
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