Black Winter Truffles
The king of black truffles and almost certainly the most exciting truffle variety for chefs. Often known as the “Périgord” truffle, the flavour is rich, intoxicating, decadent and utterly delicious. They’re also extremely versatile and can be used in so many different dishes.
Native in the wild to France, Spain, Italy and parts of Eastern Europe but the vast majority are now cultivated – not an easy process as it involves inoculating the roots of oak and hazel trees with truffle spore and then a long wait with an uncertain result.
The season runs through the winter – so from late November to March in Europe and from June until August in the Southern Hemisphere, making black winter truffles now available for almost 8 months of the year.
We source our European black winter truffles from exclusive partners in the remote mountains of Catalonia and Aragon in North Eastern Spain, as well as from Provence in France. During the European summer we receive incredible winter truffles from our friends in Western Australia, Victoria and the Maule Valley in Chile.
Black Summer Truffles
A relatively common species native to almost every country in Europe and elsewhere. The season runs all through the spring and summer and the price is generally fairly low, reflecting the large volumes that are found and their less intense flavour.
They have the mildest aroma of the main truffle species, especially earlier in the season when we would not recommend using them at all. However they can become more interesting towards the end of the summer when the aroma and flavour start to develop.
To appreciate summer truffles at their best they should be used in very generous quantities; they can then be delicious in dishes where a milder truffle is required.
Black Autumn Truffles
A very close relative to the summer truffle, identical externally but with a considerably darker internal colour as well as a more powerful flavour and aroma. They are usually found in different areas to the summer truffle and have a later harvesting period.
Black autumn truffles have a delicious fragrant yet earthy truffle taste and work beautifully in many autumn dishes.
The season usually runs from September to January and they are sometimes known as the ‘Burgundy’ truffle. This is the variety we hunt wild in Wiltshire and we also source them from our partners and friends in mainland Europe: Croatia, France, Hungary and Italy.
At their peak the aroma of black autumn truffles is delicious and in Wiltshire it envelops the entire woodland as we hunt them. A versatile star in the kitchen, they combine beautifully with a large variety of other flavours.
Tuber Magnatum Pico
There is a good reason why everyone goes crazy for white truffles during their season – from autumn into winter – the aroma is just out of this world and worthy of all the hype.
As the only major truffle variety which is not yet cultivated on a commercial scale, white truffles are still always hunted wild, which adds to their scarcity and value.
They are often called “Alba” truffles, but the vast majority are hunted in Eastern Europe or other parts of Italy. Many are then bought by wholesalers in Italy before being sold around the world.
We always source direct from the woods instead, primarily in Istria (Croatia), Emilia Romagna and Tuscany (Italy), Hungary and Serbia – rushed to us just hours after they come out of the ground
White truffles must always be served raw – grated or sliced over a dish just before serving. They are usually served on simple dishes – traditionally on egg, pasta, risotto or fonduta. Their aroma is beyond compare and perhaps the nicest smell on the planet!
Spring White Truffles
Often known as “Bianchetti” (whitish) or “Marzuoli” (March) truffles, spring white truffles are usually in season from February to early April. They are a completely different species to the precious white autumn / winter truffle.
We source our spring white truffles from Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Umbria in Italy, as well as from Bulgaria.
Generally a smaller truffle, they naturally range in colour from cream to yellow, orange, brown and even black. At their peak spring white truffles have an intense and very interesting garlicky aroma.
They’re great in egg dishes and combine very well with other spring ingredients such as morels, asparagus and wild garlic – perfect for a seasonal special.
Honey truffles are totally unique and have proved to be extremely popular with many forward thinking chefs.
They are found almost exclusively growing wild under black locust trees along the River Danube in Hungary. The season generally runs from mid August until November.
Honey truffles have an aroma reminiscent of button mushrooms and honey, and the flavour starts quite similar but has a very long lasting sweet aftertaste, with an unusual but pleasant mouthfeel.
Due to their sweetness they can obviously work very well with desserts, but also pair beautifully with cheese and game. We believe they’re best of all in dishes that, like them, combine both sweet and savoury elements.