Truffle News

How to preserve a fresh truffle

by 08/02/2019

 

If you are buying a fresh white truffle for the first time it can be rather imposing. This is entirely understandable as tuber magnatum pico are one of the most expensive ingredients on the market and they have a notoriously brief shelf life. Here are some tips to help you deal calmly and efficiently with  a fresh truffle purchase.

 

1. The longer truffles are exposed to air, the quicker their aroma fades

 From the second the truffle is unearthed it begins to lose its scent. Truffles are at their peak until they are around three days old, by day six they are nowhere near as aromatic as they should be. There are several ways to keep the truffle close to peak condition by limiting unnecessary  exposure to air. Keep the truffle wrapped up in cloth or paper and place it in an airtight container. Don’t leave it out on the kitchen counter or sitting naked on the shelf  of the fridge..

When possible we store white truffles on their own in the fridge as any other food  will quickly absorb the truffle’s aroma. Everything in your fridge will become ‘contaminated’.Many people like to take advantage of this by storing their truffles with eggs or rice which quickly become infused with the truffle scent. There is no problem with eggs but it’s not a great idea to store truffles with rice. Of course your risotto will taste sublime, however storing a white truffle in a bag of rice draws out its moisture and  causes the truffle to dry out more quickly. This means the truffle loses its freshness even more rapidly.

 

2. Using the truffle as quickly as possible is your best course of action. 

Don’t leave your truffle hanging around while you wait for the right occasion to use it. Truffles are meant to be consumed fresh so once you receive yours, you should aim to eat within three days maximum. 

3. Clean the truffle immediately before you serve it. Not before.

Of course you should ensure the truffle is perfectly clean before you  shave it over your dish. However don’t even think about washing it until you are ready to serve it. There are two reasons for this

  • retaining a very thin layer of earth  protects the truffle’s flavour helping to retard the loss of scent.
  • Truffles prefer to be kept dry. Never soak them for long periods as this,once more, will affect the precious aroma of tuber magnatum pico.

 Now when you are just about ready to use the truffle, you can wash it under cold running water and use a soft-bristled brush or a gentle cloth to clean it.

4. Short Term Storage. Truffles should never be frozen unless you like the taste and texture of cardboard. If you would like to savor your fresh truffle over several days then it is best to chill it carefully in the fridge wrapped up and placed in a sealed container or jar. At home if the truffle is especially dirty we use a toothbrush to clean off any remnants of earth. However these are truffles that we have dug out of the ground  ourselves.White truffles you find on the market should not have chunks of soil attached to them. If they are very dirty (check the crevices) please complain to the rogue who is trying to charge you upwards of £2 per gram of common dirt. There are charlatans in every business and this is a well-known ruse.

The best temperature to store truffles at is 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) in a cool, dry spot in the fridge. As the white truffle loses moisture on the road to its inevitable decline, this tissue paper or cloth wrapping will become slightly damp. Make sure that it is changed at least once a day since a build-up of moisture once again will affect the quality of your beautiful truffle.

5. Other Options.

Truffle salt/zest is very popular these days thanks to Oprah Winfrey. I don’t know how to make this so I’d love to hear from anyone who does! Probably the most popular way to preserve white truffles is to make your own truffle butter. We usually mix a generous amount of truffle shavings into some really good quality butter and fill small jars or pots with this butter/truffle mixture. These pots can be stored in the fridge for about a month and plastic pots can even be frozen (supposedly for 3 months, but I’ve eaten 18-month-old frozen truffle butter and lived to recount the story) This is a great way to enjoy the taste of white truffles all year round.  There are many ways to serve truffle butter – it is best to keep it simple, so over some free-range scrambled eggs, fresh pasta or shaved on top of your steak.

 

So as you can see, it’s fairly easy to handle a white truffle and there’s no need to be nervous as long as you have access to a fridge, a jar and some soft kitchen paper. Please, if you have any truffle-related queries please write them in the comments below. I would love to hear them and I’m sure that one of us will be able to answer them. Buon appetito!

 

5 Comments
  1. Touche. Solid arguments. Keep up the amazing spirit.

  2. […] need special care and storage so if you need to travel with the truffle then make sure you have planned ahead how you will keep […]

  3. paul megarity 01/11/2019 at 20:15 Reply

    Great information thank you so much. Périgord truffles are out of season at the moment (1st of November) are there any other black truffles which come close in flavour terms?

    • The Périgord is an amazing truffle but you’re right you will probably have to wait at least another month to eat tuber melanosporum at its best. If you want a black truffle quickly then tuber uncinatum – the autumn truffle is widely available. It’s far more flavorful than the summer truffle (tuber aestivum) and cheaper than but not quite as delicious as the Périgord. Whereabouts are you based?
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15158269

  4. Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

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