Knowing truffles means entering a world of nuances of taste, shades of colors, flavours, and scents. The truffle is a protagonist of the table full of charm and complexity, which avoids generalizations and lives on differences. Shortly, each truffle is different from another. That’s why, those who want to learn to know it must grasp every aspect, starting with the fundamental distinctions.
For example, what is the difference between a black truffle and a summer truffle (a.k.a. Scorzone)?
The first important difference between these two types of truffle is the harvest period (you cannot find the precious black truffle in summer and the scorzone in winter). Black truffle and scorzone are difficult to distinguish, especially for the less experienced people. In reality, the two types of truffles are also well distinguished for other factors such as flavor and morphological characteristics. However errors are understandable, especially for those who still know little of truffles.
So let’s take a look at the difference between black truffle and summer truffle: you will learn to recognize them without being misled and you will become true connoisseurs of the two types of truffles!
Truffle harvesting, harvest period and soil
The first difference between black truffle and summer truffle, as already mentioned, lies in the different harvest period. In fact, the precious black truffle is harvested from mid-November to mid-March. Scorzone’s harvest period, which is said for this summer truffle, goes from mid-May to the end of August instead. Right in the middle of the spring-summer season.
Another difference between black truffle and scorzone lies in the preferred soil: the summer truffle prefers clayey soils, while the precious black truffle soils are sandy (as in the case of the Piceno areas).
On the other hand, the main symbiont plants are the same: downy oak, Turkey oak, holm oak, hornbeam, and hazel.
The difference between black truffle and summer truffle: morphology
Let’s also talk about the morphological difference between the precious black truffle and the scorzone. The analysis of this aspect is fundamental to identify its belonging to the different types.
First, there are no substantial differences regarding the size (both have a size ranging from zero to 1 kg). The main differences lie in the morphology, and they immediately reveal the belonging of the truffle to a precise variety.
In fact, the precious black truffle has a smoother external rind (called peridium) than the summer truffle. Its peridium is characterized by large brown-black warts, with reflections ranging from reddish to purple. In addition to that, the interior, called gleba, has a pitch-black colour, with messy and dense white veins. The scorzone is immediately distinguished from the black truffle both for the coarser peridium, with large pyramidal protruding warts, and for the gleba, that has a lighter and thicker veining and shades ranging from light hazelnut to intense brown.
Truffle taste and truffle scent: the intensity of the truffle
Now let’s concentrate on another difference between black truffle and summer truffle: the gastronomical one! It’s time to put the senses into play and explore the different aromas and flavors of these two types of truffles. If you are a truffle lover and have already tried both varieties in the kitchen, you will already recognize the fragrances of the black truffle and summer truffle.
Otherwise, in case you’re not an expert, just sharpen your senses and learn how to distinguish between these two underground mushrooms.
Let’s start with the black truffle, with its delicate scent and its sweet aftertaste, reminiscent of chocolate and honey: a sweet and pleasant taste that conquers! This is a variety of truffle that earns the wording of sweet black truffle for this reason and proves to be very versatile for its multiple uses in the kitchen…
While the scorzone (whose smell is a bit reminiscent of roasted barley malt), has a more fungal and less intense flavor than the black truffle.
Since this is a very delicate truffle, it should be used carefully, to avoid covering its taste with intense aromas and spices.
The difference between black truffle and summer truffle in the kitchen
When using truffles in the kitchen, we must remember a fundamental rule: all fresh truffles are enemies of cooking. Being composed mainly of water, in fact, if cooked violently, they dehydrate and lose their organoleptic qualities.
Precisely by virtue of its delicate flavor, it is good to use scorzone in the kitchen taking care not to compromise its taste: this happens if the scorzone is used in the wrong way, for example by cooking it too much.
In this case it loses its flavor and uniqueness, resulting in blandness.
However, the best way to enhance the fragrance, is to heat it slightly, perhaps adding it to hot dishes as a final touch or opting for a delicate cooking of a few minutes. In this way the scorzone will release all its flavor, enriching the dish you want to enhance.
The speech for the black truffle is different: if the scorzone needs to be slightly heated to release all its intensity, the black truffle can also be used cold.
In fact, the black truffle can be used cold or heated raw, as the main ingredient of a simple dish (such as a fresh noodle with butter and truffle). Otherwise it can be cut into thin slices to embellish a meet dish or used for a pâté, a risotto or to give a special flavor to a filling. The precious black truffle can also be used raw on hazelnut or chocolate desserts. For example, it can be scratched on a tiramisu, to give this dessert an absolutely innovative flavor and fragrance.
So, black truffle and scorzone can alternate in the kitchen to give new aromas and flavors to the dishes you want to bring to the table. It is important to use them with the right care, to avoid compromising their taste. Equally important, especially if you are a truffle fan, is to learn how to recognize the difference between black truffle and summer truffle…In fact, to discover the best product and evaluate its quality, you need to have adequate knowledge!
We, at Trivelli Tartufi care about the satisfaction of our customers and we want to offer them the best product for their needs.
That’s why we love to offer you small tips, to let you have a complete idea of the world of truffles and teach how to choose the product that best suits your taste.