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Tips for Handling and Preparing Summer Black Truffles

We love summer truffles for their versatility and affordability. At only a fraction of the cost of Alba white truffles or Perigord black truffles, summer truffle mushrooms can be used quite generously, complementing a wide variety of recipes. Summer black truffles can generally be substituted for Burgundy truffles, since both varieties are best served cold or slightly warmed. We don’t recommend cooking summer truffles as their delicate flavor dissipates with prolonged heat.

summer truffle

Similar in appearance to black winter truffles, summer truffles have a nubby black or brown skin, and a pale beige interior marbled with white veins. Summer truffles have a much different texture, flavor and aroma than their sought-after cousins. The aroma is milder and the flavor is more mushroom-like and nutty. The outer skin is tougher, and they are slightly crisp.

Most black summer truffles are harvested in France and Italy.  The season for French summer truffles is mid to late May until late July.  Italian summer truffles are usually available through August.  We prefer summer truffles from France because we believe the flavor profile is better.  As with all truffles, the season begins with immature truffles, which have not yet reached their maximum flavor and aroma.

With proper storage, summer truffles will usually last up the ten days.  Do keep in mind that the flavor and aroma will fade over time. Black summer truffles should be wrapped carefully in a paper towel and kept in an air-tight container or jar in the refrigerator. It is very important to keep truffles dry; therefore it is a good idea to change the paper towel daily. All truffles hate dampness, and will develop mold if moisture is present. If mold develops, simply shave the affected area.

Just prior to using the summer truffles, inspect the truffles for any dirt or gravel.  Often, there will be no visible dirt, in which case cleaning is not necessary.  If there is any dirt on the truffles, brush them with a soft damp cloth or toothbrush.  You may also use a sharp knife to remove anything lodged in the crevices of the mushroom.

All truffles, including summer truffles are usually served sliced very thin.  Paper-thin slices are best achieved with a truffle shaver or mandoline.  A very sharp knife may also be used; however it is more difficult to achieve uniformly thin slices.  Summer truffles can be peeled, or left with the skin intact.

Since summer truffles are much less pungent, and much more affordable than winter black truffles or white truffles, generous portions are recommended. The crisp, nutty flavor is best when served raw or slightly warmed. You may boost the flavor of summer truffles by adding truffle juice or truffle oil to your preparation.

Shave summer truffles on beef carpaccio and drizzle with truffle oil or add thin slices to a cheese omelette. For a delicious salad, slice the truffles paper-thin, allowing the truffles to absorb some of the salad dressing. Summer truffles pair well with light, summer dishes, so a good rule of thumb is to use seasonal ingredients when experimenting with summer truffles.

Please share your favorite summer truffle recipes with us!  If you submit your own recipe with photos, you may be selected to win a $100 gift certificate for EnjoyFoieGras.com.  Contest rules are available here: http://www.enjoyfoiegras.com/subscribe.html

2 comments to Tips for Handling and Preparing Summer Black Truffles

  • Michael Daniels

    Thanks for your resources.

    I had just ordered French Fresh Summer Truffles
    from another purveyor, and was confused.

    Here is the confusion…

    I had ordered Black Summer Truffle Salt, 10%.

    The taste is not intense, but the smell IS.

    I was hoping in ordering Fresh Black Summer
    Truffles -France, would be an experience.

    Not so… it is weak, and does NOT have the
    same aroma… at all.

    Thanks to your website, I have an explanation,

    and can accept my gastronomic loss a little

    I will take care of them, and try to enjoy the
    VERY mild flavor.

    Education does come at a price, and this one
    has to be at a loss, but I look forward to the
    stronger flavored Truffles in the future.

    One question,

    How is the Summer Black Truffle preserved in
    salt? Is it freeze dried and made into its
    ground-up state, and mixed with the salt?

    Thanks very much.

    Michael Daniels


  • admin

    Hello Michael,
    I’m sorry to hear you were disappointed with the summer truffles you ordered, but glad that our description helped clarify what to expect. If you still have any summer truffles left, I would suggest trying our recipe for porterhouse steak with summer truffles. This is one of the best summer truffle recipes I’ve ever had. You can even boost the truffle flavor with black truffle oil or your truffle salt. http://blog.mirepoixusa.com/2011/07/04/recipe-grilled-porterhouse-steak-with-summer-truffles-and-cognac-shallot-reduction/

    Regarding the truffle salt, I honestly don’t know how it is made. I’d be surprised if summer truffles alone could create a strong truffle flavor that lasts. My experience with truffle salt is that after about 4 months it goes rancid. For this reason our company has stopped carrying truffle salt, at least until we find an acceptable product.

    I hope this helps! Thank you so much for your comment and interest in our blog.


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