The History of Truffles and their Seasons
The discovery of the truffle dates back 2,000 years to Roman times, and through the centuries it has been viewed as everything from an aphrodisiac to a poison. The 19th-century Italian composer, Rossini, called it the ‘Mozart of mushrooms’, and Lord Byron kept one on his desk because he believed it fed his imagination!
The most popular truffles on the market in Europe
There are nine types of truffle recognised as edible by Italian law, but the most well-known / most commonly marketed are:
Black Winter Truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vitt), more correctly known as the Norcia, Spoleto, or Perigord truffle, is harvested a few centimeters below ground in the period from mid-November to mid-March.
White Winter Truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico), known as the white truffle of Piedmont, white truffle of Alba, or Acqualagna, is harvested at 80 cm below ground and in the period from 1 October to 31 December.
Black Summer or “English” Truffle (Tuber Aestivum Vitt) is almost always harvested just below the ground surface, in the period from 1 May to 30 November.
Burgundy or Fragno Truffle (Tuber Uncinatum de Chatin), grows at the same depth as the summer truffle and is harvested in the period from 1 October to 31 December.
Whitish or Marzuolo Truffle (Tuber Albidum or Borchii Vitt), harvested at a medium depth in the period from 15 January to 30 April.
Musky Truffle (Tuber Brumale var. Moschatum de Ferry) picked at medium depth below ground in the period from 1 January to 15 March.
The other three types of truffle are :
- Brumale Truffle (Tuber Brumale Vitt)
- Smooth Black Truffle (Tuber Macrosporum Vitt)
- Bagnoli Truffle (Tuber Mesentericum Vitt)