They’re back – the best reason to love winter! Tuber melanosporum is known as the “black diamond” of the kitchen, and is prized by connoisseurs and four-star chefs for its distinct and pungent aroma.
Also called the Perigord truffle, after the legendary truffles of that region in France, this truffle can be found during the winter months in several parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including France, Italy and Spain. The season is generally from December through February, though it can vary.
And we have just begun receiving them this week – just in time for Christmas. So what looks like a lump of coal in your stocking may very well be a black winter truffle.*
About the Black Winter Truffle
This is the truffle that drives people wild—it has dark, robustly-veined flesh that appears almost black-purple, and has the strongest flavor and aroma of all the black truffles. Hard to describe, impossible to forget, with notes of cocoa, earth and tannins. Earthy and intoxicating, the distinctive fragrance will captivate you and inspire culinary brilliance.
Once you have seen the winter and summer truffles side by side (as above), you will understand that not all black truffles are created equally. Summer truffles are lighter, paler versions of their winter cousins, with crunchier texture and muted flavor.
Cooking with Black Truffles
Slice black truffles paper-thin with a mandoline or truffle shaver. These thin shavings can be placed under the skin of a chicken, turkey, duck or other game bird before roasting. Layer in a foie gras terrine, or try the classic recipe for Tournedos Rossini, a filet mignon with foie gras and truffles on top.
Lay fresh slices on top of cooked beef, pork, or game meats like wild boar or venison. Grate truffles into wine or cream-based sauces, or shave them onto cooked pasta, scrambled eggs or potato dishes.
Once a fresh truffle is out of the ground, it doesn’t keep long. To best preserve your truffle, wrap it in a paper towel, put in an airtight plastic container and set in the refrigerator. Do not clean the truffle until you are ready to use it. Avoid condensation and humidity, which can cause rot. If you wish, store the truffle with eggs in the refrigerator to impart its flavor into the eggs, but be sure the shells are perfectly dry. Even though you will see this everywhere – do not store your truffle in dry rice, as the rice dehydrates the truffle and absorbs the aroma.
Order your black winter truffle from dartagnan.com.
And be sure to share photos with us! Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tell us about your truffle experience.
*Please don’t put a truffle in a stocking. See above for proper storage.