WHITE TRUFFLE (TUBER MAGNATUM PICO)
Harvesting period: 1 OCTOBER/ 15 JANUARY
It is considered the king of Truffles, with a smooth surface whose colour can vary from yellow to light green and light brown. Its shape is not perfectly round, with emerging bumps and antlers, its dimensions can range from those of a nut to those a big orange, even reaching a weight of 400-500 gr and, in this case, it results to be comparable to a small melon.
The inner pulp varies from white to light brown, pink, dark brown or even soft red, according to the degree of ripeness, the type of soil and the symbiotic plant. For example, truffles growing near an oak have generally a light brown pulp while those growing near beeches have a more reddish pulp and those near limes have a pink pulp.
It has a strong but pleasant and aromatic smell, more than every other type of truffles.
Thanks to its softness and digestibility it is generally consumed uncooked, just finely sliced on different food.
It ripens from October to January.
BLACK TRUFFLE (TUBER MELANOSPORUM)
Harvesting period: from 15 November to 15 March (according to regional calendars)
It is largely distributed along the Central Apennines and can also be cultivated in areas where reforestation programmes with specific tree species, optimal for truffle growth, have been carried on.
Its surface is black and warty, with small reddish parts if the product is still unripe. Its pulp is black or dark brown with light but thick white veinings. Its smell is aromatic, not too much strong and the flavour is delicate. Its shape is irregularly round according to the kind of soil where it grows. Its dimensions can vary from those of a walnut to those of a big apple in the best samples.
It ripens from October to March.
BIANCHETTO TRUFFLE (TUBER BORCHI)
Harvesting period: from 1 January to (around) 31 March
After the White Truffle, it is the only other edible truffle type characterized by a white surface. Its common name prevalently used “bianchetto” (small white) derives from this feature while the second common name “marzuolo” (from March) derives from the peak of its harvesting period.
Its surface is smooth and the colour can vary from white-ochre to dark or very dark orange. The inner pulp is initially white then, while ripening, it becomes red-brown; it has large but rare branched veinings that are initially whitish but then become darker. The shape is irregularly round and it is small-sized. The smell is sharp and similar to that of garlic while the flavour, not very pleasant, makes it difficult to digest even if cooked.
It ripens from January to April.
BLACK SUMMER TRUFFLE (TUBER AESTIVUM VITT)
Harvesting period: from 10 May to 31 August
It has a black grainy surface, with evident pyramidal bulges which are a distinctive feature. The inner pulp is initially whitish than becomes light brown and, when ripe, dark brown with thin whitish veinings. The smell is more delicate if compared to other black truffle types. Dimensions can vary from those of a nut to those of a big apple (even more in a few cases). It has initially a sweet smell than it becomes aromatic and sulphurous (when totally ripe it remembers the smell of grana cheese).
It ripens from May to December.
SMOOTH BLACK TRUFFLE (TUBER MACROSPORUM)
Harvesting period: from 1 September to 31 December
Its surface is reddish-brown, seldom with some rusty spots and small warts. The inner pulp is dark in unripe truffles than becomes dusky and rusty, with many whitish veinings. Its smell is similar to that of white truffle.The flavour is pleasant. It has a large distribution in Europe and North America.
WHOLE BLACK TRUFFLE or BAGNOLI TRUFFLE (TUBER MESENTERICUM)
Harvesting period: from 1 September to 31 January
Its surface is black with small and thick warts. The inner pulp is generally grey-brown or grey-yellow with whitish veinings. The smell is typical and remembers that of bitumen of phenic acid. The flavour is slightly bitter.
BLACK WINTER TRUFFLE (TUBER BRUMALE)
Harvesting period: from 1 January to 15 March
Its surface is black with small flat warts. The inner pulp is grey-brown with whitish veining generally concentrated in a single point giving rise to spots. The smell is pronounced but pleasant and the flavour is strong.
It grows in the same areas where Tuber melanosporum grows well so that they are frequently confused but it is less scented and digestible than T. melanosporum and, for this reason, also less precious.
It ripens from January to March and usually its commercial value is never more than ¼ of that of T. melanosporum.
BLACK MOSCATO TRUFFLE (TUBER BRUMALE MOSCHATUM DE FERRY)
Harvesting period: from 15 November to 15 March
It differs from Tuber Brumale just because of its stronger smell, similar to that of moss and for its stronger and spicier flavour.