The "white truffle" or "trifola d'Alba" (Tuber magnatum) comes from the Langhe and Montferrat areas of the Piedmont region in northern Italy and, most famously, in the countryside around the cities of Alba and Asti, in Italy it can also be found in Molise, Abruzzo, and in the hills around San Miniato, in Tuscany.
Asparagus with truffles
The summer truffle (Tuber aestivum) or burgundy truffle (Tuber uncinatum) is a species of truffle, found in almost all European countries. The flavor, size and color of summer truffles is similar to that of burgundy truffles, but their aroma is less intense and the flesh (gleba) is a paler hazel color.
Truffles in sweet dishes
The truffle, also called tuber, is a very particular and special part of the gourmet cuisine today. The underground mushroom with potato- lives in the Istrian soil and is considered the highlight of the regional cuisine. Istria has become known for the highest quality truffles - especially the white truffle that can rival those of Italian regions of Alba and Piedmont.
Truffles were appreciated by the Romans - they were believed to have grown as the result of God Jupiter throwing a lightning to an oak tree. Since Jupiter was known for its access sexual activities, truffle has been regarded as an aphrodisiac ever since. The Savoi family introduced it to the European courts during the middle Ages. It was Giacomo Morra, a restaurant owner from Alba in the northern Italian province of Piedmont who popularized the truffle and truffle dishes in the 1930s. The white truffle of Alba is highly valued but Istrian varieties are equally if not even more prized by the experts for their exquisite quality.
One of the most popular places in Istria where you can taste the truffles is an restaurant of Mr. Giancarlo Zigante, in Livade, close to the city of Motovun. To find the white truffle, always you go in september up to the December, and it is a right and the best time to taste them.
In Istria from september up to the November, we celebrate Truffle Days, so the truffle is presented as an important part of the istrian cuisine.
The truffle quality in Istria gets an sign which says REAL TRUFFLE - TARTUFO VERO, which get only the best istrian restaurants which are preparing the truffles by the highest standards.
The fine white truffle called Tuber Magnatum Pico the priciest among truffle. It grows from September till January and is eaten fresh usually shaved over hot steaming pasta, meat or fish.
Tuber melanosporum is an black truffle which grows from January untill spring, and is one of the best black species in region Istria, and the expensive one.
Tuber aestivium is also the black truffle which grows throughout the whole year, and his price is a little bit smaller than from the Tuber melanosporum.
Tuber brumale also is a part of black truffle species, it grows in winter and is cheaper than Tuber melanosporum.
Istria has its own truffle king - Giancarlo Zigante, the owner of the Guinness World Record. He found 1.310 kilogram heavy white truffle s in the forest of Motovun located in the northern central part of Istria around the medieval city of Motovun sitting charmingly on a hill top overlooking the the stretching Mirna river valley below.
The soil here is damp and the forest vegetated with different types of oak - a tree that the truffle lives symbiotically with. It’s found in wet grounds, usually near the rivers and dug by specially trained dogs.