There are no half measures with truffle, you either love it or hate it! I grew up in Acqualagna, the Capital of Truffle and I really can't resist its intense flavour and scent wafting throughout the house. But you know, so much tastiness is expensive, that's why I want to give you some useful tips on how to taste truffles to avoid unforgivable mistakes!
1. HOW TO CLEAN TRUFFLES
If you have purchased some good truffles, half the job is already done because cooking them is truly simple! But first you need to clean it!! Use a very soft bristled brush to remove soil residues, a weak stream of running water and paper towels to dry it well. NEVER leave them to soak in water! Truffles and humidity are great enemies ;)
2. HOW TO STORE IT IN YOUR FRIDGE
The best thing to do is buy the truffle and eat it immediately, however if you have a special dinner in mind and have to store it in the fridge, you can put it in a glass container that seals well after having wrapped it in a paper towel that you will change daily! Remember, white truffle is more delicate than the black one and should be eaten within 6-7 days.
3. HOW TO TASTE TRUFFLES: SOME ALTERNATIVES
Many people use tricks to store truffles and use them as a flavouring ingredient. For example, truffle is put in a glass jar and covered with oil. This way storage times are extended up to 7-10 days approximately and you will also get some excellent oil to serve on toasted bread or to enrich other dishes. A second example: use a glass jar and cover the truffle with rice. It will get flavoured and can be used as base for a chef risotto. Be careful though, rice could dry your beloved truffle!
4. COOKING AND MATCHINGS
Let's make it brief: white and black truffles DON'T HAVE TO be cooked. You should taste them raw, cut into strips with a special tool. White truffle perfectly goes with meat tartare, egg homemade pasta or fondue. The black type matches well with toasted bread, chopped with mushrooms or as a topping for pasta. Scorzone truffle, that everyone calls summer black truffle, is an exception to the rule and can be cooked for a very short time. Truffles are best when combined with butter rather than oil.
5. SAVE YOUR MONEY
Forget the image of the huge truffle as big as an apple...the small and even very small sizes are less scenic, but just as tasty and will make you save a lot of money. On the other hand, if you want to surprise your friends with a bigger truffle without spending a fortune, you can bet on the summer black truffle and combine it with fresh homemade pasta. I'm not a big fan, but the classic cheap alternative is a truffle sauce or cream... but read the ingredients' label carefully!
And know that you know all these rules on how to taste truffles, all you have to do is come to the next National White Truffle Fair in Acqualagna, which will take place every weekend from the end of October till beginning of November. But take note, remaining on the subject of saving money, the best period for those who want to get a good deal is from the end of the Fair in mid-November, when the demand is reduced and you can find good quality truffles (or even better) at a reasonable price.