Questions and Answers.
- What is a truffle?
- Truffle types and sizes.
- What are TrufaZero’s truffles like?
- What conditions must the land be in?
- Hunting and gathering.
- How are truffles cleaned?
- How to preserve the essence.
What is a truffle?
It is a type of underground mushroom (hypogeous) that lives in mycorrhiza symbiosis with certain higher plants. That is to say, as the truffle doesn’t contain chlorophyll, it can’t make organic substance for its own development –meaning you must remove it from the organism that it grows on. On the other hand, the mushroom provides nutrients, mineral and water to the plant. Its shape is very similar to a tuber: round, often with bumps and cavities, and a somewhat rough surface (depending on the species and field where it grows). The color varies depending on the variety –from black to light ochres and browns. Its aroma is very characteristic and intense, though difficult to define.
It is especially rich in mineral salts –such as calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, etc… as well as carbohydrates and fatty substances. With its high protein value, it not only adds great flavor and aroma to food, but is also makes it very nutritious.
Truffle types and sizes.
There are about sixty species of truffles in the world, of which about twelve are commercialized in Spain; the most prevalent being the Tuber Melanosporum, or winter truffle, and the Tuber Aestivum, or summer truffle.
At TrufaZero, we grow winter truffles that are gathered from November to March. They have a round shape and a “warty” surface (diamond shape warts), making it known as the “diamond of the kitchen.” The exterior color can vary from black to brown depending on its ripeness. The inside is very dark with fine milky filaments.
What are TrufaZero’s truffles like?
Our truffle is the Tuber Melanosporum, also known as the winter or black truffle —the most appreciated truffle in the culinary arts due to its aroma and flavor. It’s the only edible ectomycorrhizal fungus whose cultivation is a viable economic alternative for rural areas.
It has a fleshy and compact body, or gleba. Usually, it i’s gathered beginning around the beginning month of November and lasts until March. Thanks to our cannery, we can lengthen the shelf life of this gastronomic gem and supply the market in the best conditions.
What conditions must the land be in?
When we set out to grow truffles, we did in depth research on meteorology and the characteristics of land suitable for truffle growing. We found that we weren’t wrong in our thinking, and that the land we had chosen for our truffles met the ideal characteristics –given that the Tuber Melanosporum develops in mainly rocky ground, requires an abundant presence of calcium carbonate, and at altitudes of 500-900m. As it happens, our land is just exactly like thisso. These truffles need a climate with very cold winters –but without endless frosts– and very hot summers, like the ones we have in Cifuentes, is necessary. For the correct development of the truffles, spring showers and summer storms are very important as that is when the truffle is forming. In the 3rd century, Theophrastus said, “The more thundering there is, the more they grow”.
Hunting and gathering.
The difficult task of gathering truffles is done with the help of trained dogs. Dogs from any breed or mix can do it as it’s not the type or dog, but the training that’s important. The dog has to be young, friendly and obedient. If possible, iIt should possibly be a medium sized dog withand have a thick coat, so as to withstand the low winter temperatures and constant rubbing against the bushes. It’s impressive to watch a dog work until it locates the truffle. And, when it’s well–trained, once found and following the gatherer’s order, removes it without attempting to eat it.
At TrufaZero, we always trust dogs trained by Semper Fidelis, due to their professionalism and commitment.
Subsequently, the gatherer removes the truffle with the help of special blunt machetes, which are used to dig and unearth the truffle. After showing the dog the truffle, it’s given a treat and the gatherer fills the hole up with the same dirt.
How are truffles cleaned?
All dirt and filth clinging to the outer skin must be completely removed. In order to do this, the truffle is put under a stream of cold water and scrubbed with a brush with non-t very rigid bristles brush; paying special attention to the gaps (a nail or toothbrush can be used). They should never be peeled.
At TrufaZero, we have modern truffle cleaning, sanitizing, selecting and preserving technology. It’s not just for our specimens but for anyone who asks for it. As In order to prevent the loss of any specimens, it is very important to remove any parts with damage, larvae, or that are starting to decompose.
How to preserve the essence.
Truffles are perishable, thus proper preservation is very important. At home, they can be kept in the refrigerator for around 8–10 days and can also be frozen.
TrufaZero’s cannery uses cutting-edge technology to clean the truffles and preserve them in the best conditions –ensuring freshness, aroma and flavor.