Known as the second-most commercially valuable species of truffles, black truffles are very appreciated in the world and are commonly used in the Greek, Spanish, Italian, French and even in Middle Eastern cuisines.
These delicacies usually grow not far from hazelnut or oak trees, they are harvested in winter and late autumn and are widely found in the Perigord region in France. For this reason, black truffles are also referred to as “Black Perigord Truffles”. These fungi are renowned for their earth-like taste and smell, although their exact flavor is determined by their maturity at the time of the harvesting.
Black Truffles In Italy
Known as “tartufi neri” in Italian, black truffles are usually found in the regions of Umbria and Piedmont. Usually harvested all the way from November to March, but also in the summer, with the help of trained dogs (in the past it was pigs!) and preserved in jars or cans with rice, the Italian black truffles are usually used for exquisite sauces, or they are turned into spread for crostini or bruschetta. They can be mixed with olive oil, salt, pepper and a hint of garlic and turned into a delicious “Salsa alla Spoletina” sauce. Fresh raw black truffles, firm and aromatic, can be sliced thinly or grated, and added on top of pasta. Simple and delicious!
The black winter Italian truffles cost between $105.00-$399.00 per 500 grams. The price is so high due to the rarity of the truffles, as well as due to the fact that they are usually found as deep as two feet under the ground.
Black Truffles In France
The finest black truffles (the Perigords) come from the southern region of Dordogne, and they are also known as the “Diamonds of Perigord“. Scarcer, more expensive and more desirable than the other known types of truffles, the Perigords can cost as much as EUR 1,000 per kilogram in the farmer’s market, although their retail price can be three to four times higher.
The truffle omelette (omelette aux truffes) is the most common recipe in the area, where these delicious fungi are combined with scrambled eggs. However, those who are passionate about these delicacies can also enjoy salmon chops with celery and black truffles or wine-poached salmon with truffles.
Black Truffles In Oregon
Although these may not be as famous as their French counterparts, they are equally delicious and considerably cheaper as well ($200 a pound). Highly aromatic, these delicacies are found along the Willamette Valley and in the West of the Cascade Mountains.
The Oregon Truffle Festival is organized in the area, and those who are passionate about refined dishes can enjoy celery root with truffled remoulade, truffled white bean puree or veal with egg and Oregon black truffles.
Do you like black truffles? What is your favourite recipe?