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Tartufo nero - La Cerca

The research for the fine black truffle or Norcia’s truffle

Collection period: from December 1st to March 15th

The tuber melanosporum (also known as fine black truffle or Norcia’s truffle or Spoleto’s truffle)

it’s the most precious quality truffle among black truffles.
It grows in sedimentary or gravelly soils, preferring the hardwood as their own symbiont plants.
Like every black truffle, the melanosporum starts a symbiosis with the hosting plant causing the dead of the grass over the roots of the godmother plant. This process is also called “allelopathy” and when it happens to a lot of plants in the same place it takes the name of “Pianello”, this name is commonly used nowadays to call the places where the fine black truffle naturally grows.

Its season in the Marche Region goes from the 1st of December to the 15th of March, while further south, in Abruzzo the season starts 15 days before.
Its name “melanosporum” is due to its black spores (In ancient Greek “melanos” means black and “spora” means seed, spore).

But how can we distinguish a fine black truffle from an ordinary one?

Well, we can start from the shape: the fine black truffle has a more regular rounded shape compared to its relatives. The peridium (the outer part) is composed by very small brown warts, smaller than other others. These warts, when scratched, release a rusty-coloured dust.
The glebe (internal part) is dark with whitish veins, very thick.
The dimensions of this kind of truffle differ a lot, the most common are as little as a nut but they can become bigger than a grapefruit if the truffle finds an enabling environment (they can even weigh more than a kilo!)