There are hundreds of different type of summer truffles. The summer truffle we import to Montreal is the one called Tuber Aestivum Vitt and is of Italian origin. Depending on the sub species, truffle in general can be found all year long. The summer truffle can be found from May to November, with it reaching full maturity by mid June, hence its name.
A truffle is from the tuber family (just like a potato). This “mushroom” grows under ground (three inches to a foot) and is always found at the roots of its host tree. Truffles grow in symbiose with oak, poplar, hazel and other types of trees. It prefers neutral to alkaline type soil.
The summer truffle is the most common and least expensive of all Italian truffles because of its plentiful and long harvest season. Almost all commercial sauce and paste are based from summer truffles. It’s shelf life is also longer than other types of truffles.
This particular type of truffle is not overwhelmingly potent in its flavor or aroma that is why it is mostly used as a garnish. This being said, it still carries a nice subtle woody and nutty flavor that is very delicate and enjoyable.
The summer truffle is black on the outside, it’s surface can be smooth or rugged depending on the nature of the soil it was grown in. A sandy soil will create a smooth surface because there was almost no resisiance during it’s growth. On the other hand, if the truffle comes from a soil that has rocks, it will grow around those rocks taking the path of least resistance giving it its signature shape.
The flesh of the truffle can range from pure white ( not matured ) to an off-white/ beige color( ready to eat)
Pricing is something that fluctuates depending on the quantity harvested that week. Remember that truffles are very perishable which is why they must be sold immediaty after harvest. Prices change on a daily basis. Supply and demand will control it’s pricing.
Truffles are found all around the world but the most priced ones come from Italy and France. The summer truffle is found in most of northern and all of central Italy.
Truffles have been used since the antiquity and already back then it was considered a pure delicassy.