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What are the differences between White and Whitish Truffle?

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The Precious White Truffle season is upon us: but what are the differences with Bianchetto? Let’s discover the tricks for recognising the varieties.


Yes, the Summer Truffle season is definitely over. Summer truffles bid us farewell until next spring/summer and give way to autumn truffles: we are talking, first of all, about the Precious Whites! Tuber Magnatum Pico, Bianco Pregiato, White Alba Truffle: the names are many, the taste unique.


Whatever you want to call it, this variety kicks off the new truffle year after the summer. In fact, let’s keep in mind that autumn is also the season of the International Fair of the White Truffle of Alba, now in its 92nd edition; from here on, the truffle year begins again, first with the season of the Bianco Pregiato and then with that of the other varieties. 


The Bianco Pregiato reconfirms itself as the king of tubers, with its unforgettable flavour and unique aroma. But there is another variety with which the less experienced might confuse it: the Tartufo Bianchetto (or Marzuolo)

How to distinguish them? 

What are the differences between White Truffle and Bianchetto?

Those approaching the world of truffles for the first time may need a little more information to do so. Let’s find out, then, the differences between the Prized White Truffle and the Bianchetto Truffle, from habitat to shape. 


How to recognise the White Truffle from the Bianchetto?


The first (and fundamental) difference between White and Whitish Truffle is found in the harvest season: that of the Pregiato begins at the beginning of October and continues until the end of December. The Bianchetto truffle harvest period, on the other hand, runs between January and April (which is why this truffle is also called Marzuolo from “March” in italian)


Keeping in mind the truffle seasons is crucial for those new to the world of truffles, so as not to be misled and confuse the two varieties. 

Bianco Pregiato and Bianchetto also differ, however, in terms of the trees with which they associate. The Bianchetto prefers dry soils and plants such as cedar, downy oak, hazelnut, as well as domestic and maritime pines; it is found in both hills and plains and sometimes even above a thousand metres. On the other hand, White Pregiato likes sloping, wet year-round soils that are very airy and rich in calcium and potassium. It also attaches to plants such as oaks, poplars, hazels, willows, black and oriental hornbeams.


In terms of morphology, the differences between the Tartufo Bianco Pregiato and Bianchetto are also important and allow the two varieties to be distinguished. 


Precious White Truffle and Bianchetto: the differences


A first difference between the White and Whitish truffles lies in their shape: the Bianchetto is smaller than the Pregiato and has a more regular shape than the latter. 


In terms of colour, White and Whitish truffles also differ considerably: the Precious Whites have a straw-yellow colour, with shades ranging from green to brown; Whitish truffles, on the other hand, have a darker peridium, tending towards rust and brown. 


The gleba of Whites also allows them to be recognized and not classified as Precious Whites. In fact, this variety has a darker colour, which tends to darken with ripening. 

That of the Bianco Pregiato, on the other hand, takes on different shades ranging from grey to hazelnut brown to reddish. The inner veins also help differentiate between White and Bianchetto truffles: in the Pregiato they are well defined; in the Bianchetto, on the contrary, they are coarser.


How Tartufo Bianco Pregiato and Bianchetto differ: the scent


We have talked about colours and shapes: but when we talk about a truffle, we certainly cannot forget the scent. Fragrances, in fact, also tend to differentiate different truffle varieties


For example, the Whitish Truffle has a much more pronounced aroma and flavour than the Bianco Pregiato truffle. Bianco di Alba can be recognized by its delicate and aromatic notes, somewhat reminiscent of those of grana cheese. On the other hand, the Marzuolo truffle is different: its aroma is much more intense and richer in garlicky notes.


Because of its garlicky flavour, it is best to use Bianchetto sparingly in cooking so as not to risk covering the other aromas and flavours of the dish to which you add it.


In short, there are many differences between White Truffles and Bianchetto truffles: from harvest time to habitat, shape, and scent. 

Entering the truffle universe therefore means discovering and learning about them, to fully understand the potential of these delicious hypogean mushrooms. 


A knowledge that leads to distinguishing the different varieties and appreciating their intensity: we at Trivelli Tartufi are always ready, with the products in our online shop, to help you discover the different fragrances of each truffle, accompanying you on your journey into this universe.

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