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Jacqueline Oliver - United States
Alba White Truffle is the world’s most renowned and sought-after truffle while in season.
During the fall and winter across Italy, Serbia, Romaina and other countries, white truffle season takes place. Truffle hunters along with their trusted dogs and sometimes pigs scan the grounds for these delicious truffles. While primarily known for growing in Italy, the fresh White Truffles have been found in parts of Eastern and Southern Europe, growing its accessibility and desire to expanded regions.
Recognized by experts as one of the finest truffles, the White truffle of Alba (tuber magnatum pico) is coveted because of its rareness: the truffle grows spontaneously and cannot be cultivated like the winter black truffle often from Australia.
The collection of the Alba White Truffle is a science of its own. Beginning in September, and ending in December, the white truffle tuber magnatum needs specific environmental conditions to grow and thrive that include:
The White truffle is a fungus that grows underground between the roots of plants, particularly holm and oak. The shape is similar to that of a small potato, however, the size can differ due to the nature of the soil. The smell and earthy flavor are what chefs around the world covet the most.
White truffle is known for its bold scent that has hints of a garlic blend and Parmesan, perfect for truffle butter and fresh pastas. Sometimes confused with the bianchetto, the white alba truffle has a lighter peridium (outer skin) and contains defined streaks.
For further in-depth reading you can check out this article for the difference in white truffles versus black truffles to learn more
Uses for truffle in cooking in fine cuisine
Truffles have always been a staple of gourmet dining. Used on risotto, scrambled eggs, pasta, potatoes, and countless other dishes, truffles including the White Alba are coveted by so many chefs around the world because of the added dimension they bring. The white truffle shines best as the final touch to a recipe or dish, no cooking is required as the heat would destroy the strong scent of the truffle.
Traditionally, chefs have sliced them paper-thin and garnished them on top of the plate. However, the White Alba Truffle can also be minced and added in a sauce or broken down further and emulsified into an oil. (Creating authentic truffle oil).
The beauty in the White truffle is how it reacts. Once added to a warm dish, the Alba White Truffle begins to release its intense aroma, giving the cuisine a truly gourmet taste. Dubbed the “diamond in the kitchen” by 18th century epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, fresh white Alba truffles have an intoxicating aroma that can add several depths of flavor to your favorite dishes.
Are Italian white truffles or truffles from Italy the only authentic truffle?
No, high quality truffles are now found all over the world. Often times truffles from other regions outside of Italy are actually imported to Italy and then resold as Italian origin to further increase the price.
Often made into truffle oil and truffle butter, the truffles also do wonders to starch-centered dishes such as mashed potatoes, gravy, and macaroni. Although purists insist fresh truffles be eaten raw and sliced thinly, the many options described all capture the essence of the white Alba truffle.
Storage: While many store fresh truffles with rice, this is not recommended. In fact, storing them in rice can dehydrate the fungi at a fast rate, a paper towel is often prefered. Many chefs in the workplace and at home find placing fresh truffles in the refrigerator with their eggs is a good solution. The white Alba truffles stay fresh and give your eggs an exquisite truffle taste.
*a note about serving size and truffle policy. One ounce of truffle is about 2-3 servings. Due to the perishable nature of the product this product is only shipped via next day shipping. There are no returns or refunds on fresh truffle products unless there is a verified quality concern or damage. Please read the product detail page in its entirety carefully. You can also refer to our FAQ page for further answers about fresh truffles and our policies.