Tuber melanosporum vitt (BLACK TRUFFLE)
Generally known as Black Truffle or Perigord Truffle.
It is a hypogeum mushroom, the black diamond for cooking. It has spherical shape, with a warty, irregular appearance, with creases and random deformations. The size is very variable. The outer layer or peridium is blackish or dark brown, and it is lighter when it is young. It is covered with pyramidal shaped projections.
The inner part, called gleba, is the fertile part. It has a creamy colour that becomes black with violet tones when it matures. It is crossed by small white veins, profusely branched, that becomes reddish when the truffle matures or when it contacts the air. It is fleshy, compact and firm, with an intense and characteristic scent. Its flavour is soft, sweet, slightly bitter, but it is disguised with its scent.
The spores have a Deep brown colour, with elliptical or subglobose shape, and acute thorns, curvy and short. The size varies between 30 – 50 x 20 – 30 µm, and are opaque, with a dark golden colour.
Tuber Melanosporum grow in symbiosis with the roots of several trees: olms, oaks, galls, hazelnut trees… They grow best in chalky – alkaline pH- drained, porous and sunny soils. They grow at different depths, and matures on winter, from December to March. For this reason, stormy summers are great for a good black truffle harvesting season.
Its scent is deep, intense and very characteristic. It can be eaten raw or cooked, being one of the essential ingredients of the greatest restaurants.
It is often mistaken with Tuber Brumale Vitt and with Tuber Aestivum Vitt. The Aestivum is very similar in the outer, but the gleba has a creamy colour and a milder scent, and the harvesting period goes from May until July, not in winter.