The noble summer kitchen with the Tuber aestivum - preparation tips of the Scorzone - summer truffle
The noble summer kitchen with the Tuber aestivum - tips for preparing summer truffles - Scorzone
The lighter version of the autumn truffle is so popular because of its versatile uses and because it is quite affordable compared to its expensive relatives. Therefore it is possible to use the summer truffle quite generously in the dishes.
The Tuber aestivum can be sliced cold over warm dishes or slightly warmed in e.g. Sauces (finally stir the truffle pieces into the sauce). But be careful, the mild summer truffles are not suitable for cooking with. In this case, they lose their truffle taste.
Difference between summer and autumn truffles
Left picture: Summer truffle - Scorzone - Tuber aestivum. Right picture: Autumn truffle - Tuber uncinatum
From the outside, the autumn truffle (Tuber uncinatum) and the summer truffle (Tuber aestivum) hardly differ visually. Both species have the same black-brown outer skin with a diamond-shaped structure. Truffle experts usually already know the difference from the smell. The summer truffle is milder in aroma and bouquet.
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The best thing to do is to cut open the precious bulb to see the pulp. The interior of the cheaper Tuber aestivum is patterned similarly to that of the Tuber uncinatum, but the pulp has a few lighter nuances than its more expensive sister.
The taste of the summer truffle (the Italians also affectionately call it Scorzone) is mushroom, truffle and slightly nutty. During the season from mid-May to the end of August, the aroma becomes more intense the later the season.
Use of summer truffle
The scorzone is best poured over the dishes before serving or rubbed into the sauce at the end (the sauce should not be hotter than 60 degrees Celsius). You can cut the truffles into thin slices with the truffle slicer, grate the dishes with a cheese grater, if you don't have both kitchen utensils at hand, you can of course use a sharp knife.
The summer truffle can be eaten with or without the skin, depending on your preference. Since this type of food truffle has a very mild taste, there is no need to save. Generous servings (approx. 25g per serving) are recommended. Of course, it is also possible to add a few drops of truffle oil to the Scorzone to intensify the aroma. If you don't want to add truffle oils, we recommend using mild basic dishes so that the truffle taste of the Fresh Truffles stands out better.
Tip: Fats bring out the truffle taste quite well, so add some butter to the pasta before slicing the fresh truffle over it. Or use other rich foods like meat, cheese, and eggs. The subtle mushroom-hazelnut summer truffle taste goes wonderfully with cream sauces, onion dishes, mild vinegar, mascarpone, hard cheeses, citrus fruits (lemon is a flavor enhancer) and herbs such as tarragon, basil and rocket.
Storage of summer truffles
First, use a soft brush (without water) to remove superficial soil residues from the precious tubers. Wrap the truffle bulbs individually in kitchen paper (or napkin, handkerchief). You can then put the tubers together in a jam jar. Please make small holes in the lid so that the truffles can breathe. Please change the paper every day afterwards, otherwise mold can form on the outer skin.
The truffles in the glass can be kept for a maximum of 2 weeks in the refrigerator. But keep in mind that the later you eat the truffle, the more ammonia taste there is.
Therefore the following motto applies to every edible truffle: "The fresher you enjoy the truffle, the better the taste!"
It is also possible to store the tubers in rice. The rice slowly absorbs the truffle aroma, so we recommend that you do not throw the rice away after you have consumed the noble truffles. Cook a delicious risotto with it and enjoy twice as much ;-)
Origin and soil of the summer truffle
The Tuber aestivum is very well known and loved in Italy, which is why most of the plantations of this truffle species are in upper Italy. However, French, Spanish and Eastern European truffle farmers have also added the Scorzone to their range of cultivation.
The summer truffle is native to Europe and prefers soils that are rich in magnesium and calcium with a pH value of at least 7. Like the Burgundy truffle, the Scorzone needs moist soils but no waterlogging. The Tuber aestivum likes to grow in symbiosis with poplars, holm oaks, linden trees, beeches, pines and hazel bushes.
The mild truffle taste of the summer truffle is not influenced by its host, but purely by the soil conditions and the climate, of course. Because this type of truffle is very popular with insects and you cannot spray it against pests, experienced truffle farmers prefer to harvest the precious tubers earlier, i.e. before the highest degree of ripeness, in order to have as little damage to the tubers as possible. The younger the truffles are harvested, the milder their taste.