After a complicated start to the year on the black truffle market and a shortened season, the fresh truffle is back with the summer truffle! Discover the world of tuber aestivum and the answer to your questions about the one that is less famous than its sister tuber melanosporum. Seasonality, specificities, taste, price, conservation and recipe ideas, that's all that awaits you in an article rich in flavors.
The arrival of warm temperatures is the arrival of our beautiful summer truffle , also known as the tuber aestivum or the St Jean truffle . By abuse of language, it is sometimes called white summer truffle , but it should not be confused with the true white truffle , the Alba truffle which grows in Piedmont in Italy. The summer truffle is to date the only truffle in our latitudes that accompanies the summer periods.
The St Jean truffle grows in Europe in countries such as France, Spain, Italy, or Bulgaria. More surprisingly, it is also harvested in Iran. The season of this tuber generally extends from the end of May to the end of August, depending on the weather conditions, since it needs water and humidity, in the quantities necessary to allow its optimal evolution. This is why to this day, its harvest remains variable depending on the year like all other species of truffles .
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUMMER TRUFFLES AND BLACK TRUFFLES?
Although the external appearance of the summer truffle may appear similar to that of the melanosporum with a black peridium , its skin is much grainier and tougher.
In addition, we notice from the canifage that the summer truffle has a much lighter gleba (flesh) than the black diamond . This color varies according to its maturity. It will be very light and beige at the start of the season, and will take on a dark brown color at the end of the season.
WHAT IS THE TASTE OF SUMMER TRUFFLES?
The tuber aestivum has not always been highlighted by gourmets. In the past, it was used to feed livestock, before being appreciated for its distinct qualities from other types of truffles . Indeed, its attractive price and its availability in a period when the black truffle does not grow, make it unique.
It has been very trendy for a few years, because many restaurateurs use it on sunny days for its very mild flavor and its slight nutty taste which make it the ideal condiment for summer dishes.
The flavors of the summer truffle are lighter than those of the black truffle , its taste is close to hazelnut and fresh mushroom . The taste of the summer truffle becomes more and more pronounced as the season progresses.
If some people give it a limited aromatic intensity, you have to know how to appreciate its difference and use it in the right way. It should not be cooked, because it loses all its flavor at the slightest heat treatment.
It is therefore consumed exclusively raw, generally grated in the desired quantity on preparations. We recommend 20g of fresh truffle per person. Some restaurateurs even choose to peel it because its skin is sometimes very thick. Many distort its taste by adding flavored oil while the summer truffle defends itself very well without artifice!
The summer truffle shares the same tree species as the Périgord black truffle , such as white oaks and holm oaks, however they do not have the same flavors. Note that an oak that produces summer truffles will not be able to produce black truffles . Its harvesting process remains delicate and demanding, because you have to be attentive to its state of maturity and the quality of the soils in which it grows.
It can thus satisfy those who find the taste of black truffles too pronounced by offering them something lighter. This seasonal truffle allows lovers of fresh tubers to indulge themselves without breaking the bank all summer long.
WHAT IS THE PRICE OF THE SUMMER TRUFFLE?
The price of a kilo of tuber aestivum is about five times lower than that of black truffles . Indeed, it is necessary for the good maturation of the t uber melanosporum that the soil has very specific qualities. We harvest five times more tuber aestivum because it is less demanding in terms of its biotope.
HOW TO STORE IT?
The summer truffle is a product that spoils rather quickly. After receipt, it should be consumed quickly and not stored for more than 10 days. It is advisable to put it in the refrigerator, placed in absorbent paper that you will have to change every day. Then enclose the truffle in an airtight box.
From the opening of the season , several towns in France invite you to visit their summer truffle markets . Find our article on these very soon.
UP TO YOU !
This is the perfect time to cook your omelettes, pasta, risottos and salads with this subtle touch of summer truffle .
You can offer it grated, in strips, placed on a hot dish or as a cold starter, because with the summer truffle all the pleasures are authorized.
Some summer truffle recipe ideas: