Black summer truffle

The research for the Black summer truffle or “Scorzone”

In the place I live, even in present times, dedicate to the search of black summer truffle, expecially the Tuber Aestivum Vittadini or “Scorzone” is not so considerated. It’s just a way to take the dogs out for a walk and let it practice for the Tuber Magnatum Pico or “Rapone”.

In fact, in this lands, searching truffles is an auxiliary source of income, it only has to integrate the bigger one rised with the work in the countryside. That’s why there was not much time to search truffles from May to August.
It wasn’t (and it’s not) convenient to risk dog’s safety for a small change: considered that a kg of black summer truffle worth less than 100 gr of fine white truffle, besides the risks like the viper bite, the danger of the wild oat on the respiratory tract or the classic heatstroke.

Normally, this kind of research was praticed only by young people and young dogs to gain experience and (it’s so sad to say) who could possibly be sacrificed.

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black summer truffleTo let this kind of research easy and little compelling (the Tuber Aestivum – Scorzone – and the Tuber Melanosporum – Fine Black Truffle of Norcia) it’s their property: when a truffle go in symbiosis with a godmather plant, they could systesize and release a natural enzyme which is a strong herbicide.

 

The consequences are that plants who producing Black Truffle are really easy to find because there’s no grass around them, this piece of land is called differently depending on the region.
And if it’s not enough, those truffles born not so far from the surface so they’re really easy to find, even without a dog!

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But nowsaday things are changed.
After the WW II,with the canning industry development occurred that black truffles, worked and preserved, they were kept well and that could also be exported outside the region/country. The increase of supply and demand rappresented the beginning of the end: since that moment people stopped going on the research for the black truffle just as a dog training, they wanted to find big quantities, using every means, legal or not.
Today happens that people just think to collect more truffles as they can, regardless from the research method or attention for the preservation of the species.

Their target is to collect, indeed purloin, whatever it takes, careless of the disastrous consequences of their greed.

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Each Region applies laws to protect the species of truffle, making a specific calendar for the collection, but this one is different depending on the region, allowing the game of crafty people and causing confusion among consumers.

Unfortunately these characters, so-called truffle hunters, start harvesting before the opening of the season, sometimes even without dogs they use the hoe and pitchfork, plundering the unripe truffles.

black summer truffleThey’re too ignorant to understand the damage they’re making: to nature, destroying truffle’s nest that won’t produce truffles anymore (truffle’s spores and seeds are left on the ground only when truffle reaches his sexual maturity, that is when it start to release the scent) and to the economy, this truffle, stoled to the ground before his time, it’s not good to be eaten.

I heard too many time black truffle is “disgusting”, “it has no taste”, and so on…
Of course, if those people tasted hoed truffle, i don’t blame them, they’re right.
They ate a qualityless product, improperly used in catering and it spoil the consideration of minor truffles.

Let’s make an effort: education. Know that until June, black summer truffle hasn’t a great taste, it should remain underground and get dry with the sunshine. Don’t buy it. Wait a bit, in this way you will seize it and discover its fantastic flavors.

Alessandro Benvenuti

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