The Art of Truffle

How to choose la good fresh truffle ?

There are three criteria to look for when choosing a fresh truffle:

  • fragrance: it must be pleasant on the nose
  • maturity: you have to cut into the truffle to verify that it is mature with regard to its colour and flesh (black with scattered white veins)
  • firmness: the truffle should be firm to the touch, definitely not soft and not too dry.
How to <span>choose</span> la good fresh truffle ?

How to store fresh truffles?

Like any vegetable or mushroom, a truffle has quite a short shelf life: it will only retain its flavour qualities for about ten days. It should not be kept any longer. If you want to preserve its fragrance, you must store it in one of the following ways :

  • in the refrigerator : in an air-tight container (jar or Tupperware box), wrapped individually in a sheet of absorbent paper (which must be changed if it becomes too damp) or covered with rice. The rice then becomes perfumed and can be used to make a truffle risotto.
    If you want to use the truffle in an egg dish, one tip is to place the truffle and eggs in an air-tight container one or two days prior to cooking the dish, so that the eggs take on the aroma of the truffle. In this way, the truffle fragrance in a dish such as a truffle omelette will be even stronger when you come to eat it
  • in the freezer: in a jar or in a bag; this is the simplest solution for keeping it for longer periods (1 year maximum). But note that freezing alters both the texture (which becomes spongy) and the aroma.   This change means that it can then only be used in sauces, omelettes and prepared truffle dishes.
    Another tip is to make truffle butter and to freeze it.
How to <span>store</span> fresh truffles?

How to cook fresh or preserved truffles?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, truffles are easy to cook.

All you need to know is that both fresh and preserved truffles should not be over-cooked, otherwise they lose their fragrance and flavour qualities.

In some recipes, properly cooked preserved truffle or (home) frozen fresh truffle can produce results as good as with fresh truffle.

Among the simplest recipes are scrambled eggs with truffles, truffle risotto, coeur de brie with truffles or truffle toast, delicious as a festive aperitif.

For raw use, use fresh rather than preserved truffles and only add to the dish just before serving.

And always remember that, to add the right aroma to your dishes, you only need 10 g of truffle per person.

How to <span>cook</span> fresh or preserved truffles?

How to enjoy truffle the best way ?

Fresh truffles can be eaten raw in fine slivers cut on a mandolin, on fresh buttered bread, on a salad, etc. Cooked, fresh or preserved truffle goes very well with potatoes, eggs, rice and pasta, which all take on its fragrance.

But for the greatest enjoyment, it is a fact that some ingredients lift its powerful fragrance even further: garlic, chives, onion, leek, celery and cream. So, when you are preparing a truffle omelette, we strongly advise you to rub your frying pan with a clove of garlic which will bring out the flavour of the truffle in the mouth to an even greater extent.

Finally, sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on your truffle pasta; it will make it even better.

How to  <span>enjoy</span> truffle the best way ?

What wine should you drink with truffles?

Matching the truffle to the wine will bring you even greater pleasure. So that the wine underpins or enhances its flavour without over-powering it, you want to play on the contrast or similarity of the aromas. The wine chosen will depend on several criteria: the colour of the truffle, white or black, the dish and the aromatic presence of the truffle in the dish.

As a classic match, a red wine could be chosen with a cooked dish, with its aromas close to those of the cooked dish, like mushrooms or undergrowth. It should be smooth, long in the mouth and be several years old.

So, with game or poultry, you would choose a quality red Bordeaux such as a Pomerol or a Burgundy such as a Mercurey or Vosne-Romanée.

For shellfish or seafood, a powerful and robust white wine such as Meursault, Pouilly Montrachet would be preferable, or better still a Hermitage or Chateauneuf du Pape. This combination works well with both black and white truffles.

Consumed raw and without meat or fish, the black truffle goes well with an aged Sauternes or a Meursault.

What wine should you drink with truffles?

Little truffle glossary

Cavage : the process of searching for and extracting truffles using a special instrument

Rabasse : the name for the black truffle in the Provençal language

Gléba : truffle flesh

Tuber : Latin for excrescence

Truffe extra : top quality black truffle with quite a round shape

Truffe 1er choix : top quality black truffle with an irregular shape

Truffe pieces : truffle pieces taken from a good quality whole truffle from which a damaged part (due to frost or caused by the dog during harvesting) has been cut away

Truffe peelings : truffle which has been cut into thin slivers

Truffe breakings : finely chopped truffle

Truffle juice : The juice is extracted by appertisation during the first cooking of fresh truffles. During first cooking a truffle will lose 20-25% of its weight in juice.

Caveur ou rabassier : name given to wild truffle hunters

Canifer : cutting a small piece of flesh off the end of a truffle to check the texture (firmness colour and veins) specific to each variety

Mycorhize : comes from the Greek mukès = mushroom, rhiz = root. Organe (like an excrescence) formed by the symbiotic relationship of the mushroom with the roots of its host tree.

Truffière : ground in which truffles are found. Today, very few truffières are wild. Most are truffle plantations.