According to the “Framework Legislation on the collection, cultivation and trade of fresh or preserved truffles for consumption” (L. 16 December 1985, n. 752) the superior white truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico) is called white truffle of Alba (or Piedmont) and Acqualagna; the superior black truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vitt.) is, instead, called black truffle of Norcia or Spoleto. The Italian legislation already gives us precise indications on the designations of origin, useful for the final consumer to buy the fresh truffles valuable in certain and safe Italian locations.

The world of truffles is very branched. You should know that in nature there are about 100 types of truffles, but only 9 of them are edible. The law describes precisely the various types of edible truffles according to a series of specific characteristics so as not to generate confusion.

White Truffle (Tuber magnatum Pico)

Also called Trifola Bianca, it is considered the King of all truffles that is born and grows only in Piedmont or in the Marche, where it takes the name of Tartufo d’Alba and Acqualagna, appellatives known all over the world. This precious and rare underground mushroom lives in perfect symbiosis with oaks, willows, lindens and poplars, but can also be found in plants of hornbeam and hazel.

The iconic and characteristic aspect of the white truffle is globose with a shape is more or less round but has irregularities on the peridium (ie cavities and protrusions). Its surface is slightly velvety and the color varies from cream to ocher while the gleba is white and yellow-greyish marbled with white veins. 

The aroma and taste is extremely strong and aromatic, partly recalling the smell of Grana cheese. is recommended to be eaten raw sliced into very thin slices. Requires a soft and moist soil with good ventilation.

Its storage times vary from 5 to 10 days from the moment of collection, therefore it has a high perishability. We recommend storing it in the refrigerator wrapped in kitchen paper (to be replaced daily) and in an airtight container. To enjoy all its unique flavor we recommend not to wash it before use.

Bianchetto Truffle (Tuber albidum Pico o Tuber borchii Vittadini)

Also known as Marzuolo, this underground mushroom is widespread throughout the Italian peninsula and has characteristics similar to the fine white truffle. Similarities can be noted both in the rounded and regular shape with cavities and protrusions and in the smooth and off-white surface. However, as it matures, its color changes and becomes darker, both inside and out.

A special feature of the bianchetto is that it almost never reaches large dimensions. A big difference compared to the superior white truffle lies in the aroma: at the beginning it is soft but then tends to take on strong tones of garlic. The aroma and taste are also less intense and more pungent than the white truffle. Because of these characteristics, it is preferable to use cooked because it is not particularly digestible due to the high acidity.

Do not confuse the commercial value which is much lower than the fine white. The bianchetto, moreover, prefers calcareous soils and broad-leaved woods such as oaks, holm oaks, or conifers such as larches, cedars, firs and some pine species. 

Its storage times vary from 5 to 7 days from the time of collection. We recommend storing it in the refrigerator wrapped in kitchen paper (to be replaced daily) and in an airtight container. Not to be washed before use.

Superior Black Truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vittadini)

Also known as Norcia Black Truffle, it has a fairly homogeneous peridium, the blackish brown surface with rusty red shades and the gleba has a black-brown hue tending to purple or reddish, with thick and thin whitish veins and with well defined contours.

This much sought-after hypogeal fungus has a rounded shape with warts or lobes. It has a characteristic aroma that is pleasantly intense, aromatic and fruity.

This type is the most valuable after the white truffle. It can be found in various European countries because it is widespread in Italy, Spain and France. It prefers hills and mountains with little vegetation. It lives in perfect symbiosis with oaks, holm oaks, turkey oaks, lime trees, hazelnuts, hornbeams and cistus plants. To taste all the flavors we recommend matching it in dishes where it is cooked.

Its storage times vary from 5 to 10 days from the time of collection. We recommend storing it in the refrigerator wrapped in kitchen paper (to be replaced daily) and in an airtight container. Not to be washed before use.

Black Winter Truffle (Tuber brumale Vittadini)

Also known as Trifola Nera, its surface has a characteristic black-brown color with small warts, while the gleba is dark with marble veins.

It has an unmistakable intense and persistent scent with shades of musky tones. In its Muscat variant, however, the fragrance is reminiscent of nutmeg. It has a strong and aromatic taste, easily digestible. We suggest to consume it raw in very thin slices.

Thanks to its aesthetic characteristics, many confuse it with superior black, but its economic value is more than halved.  It can be found at plants such as oak, oak, oak, beech, holm oak, black pine, larch, hornbeam black and white or hazel.

Its storage times vary from 5 to 10 days from the time of collection. We recommend storing it in the refrigerator wrapped in kitchen paper (to be replaced daily) and in an airtight container. Not to be washed before use.

Black Summer Truffle (Tuber aestivum Vittadini)

Commonly known by the name of Scorzone, its color, combined with the numerous and marked warts, makes it similar to the superior black truffle but stands out because at the time of cutting the gleba has a hazelnut color with light veins.

It has a delicate mushroom flavor but is less elegant than the fine black truffle. Unlike other truffles, this type can reach remarkable dimensions. To taste it in the best possible way and to let it express all its potential, we recommend to taste it after cooking. 

It grows in clay and sandy soils, from the plain up to 1000 meters.  Depending on the altitude, it can be found in symbiosis with oak, hornbeam, beech, hazel, or with holm oak or pine. 

Its storage times vary from 5 to 15 days from the time of collection. We recommend storing it in the refrigerator wrapped in kitchen paper (to be replaced daily) and in an airtight container. Not to be washed before use.

Uncinatum Truffle (Tuber uncinatum Chatin)

Also known as Scorzone Invernale, the Uncinatum Truffle is the truffle typical of autumn. It has remarkable characteristics that make it a very appreciated variety of truffles, especially for its very interesting price and for the aroma and scent that can characterize the individual dishes in which it is used.

Many people compare it to Summer Black Truffle (also called Scorzone), but its scent is definitely more intense. The size of the Uncinatumm Truffle is very variable since it can go from that of a hazelnut to that of an orange and beyond and can reach even 700 grams of weight.

Just like its summer namesake, this hypogean mushroom has a warty outer rind (a characteristic that has earned both the name of Scorzone) but very dark, gray or black. The color of the gleba takes shades ranging from hazelnut to brown with light veins and very branched. The differences between the two Scorzoni are not many but the Uncinatum Truffle has a more marked smell in consideration of the particularly humid soils in which it is found allowing to preserve the smell of the wood and the vegetation that welcome it.

The Uncinatum Truffle prefers a series of environments that are often created near the trees of cerro, roverella and hornbeam that can be considered the symbiotic plant of choice. This hypogean fungus does not particularly tolerate drought and needs very humid soil, therefore it can often be found in shady and cool areas, where the sun’s rays do not reach.

Moschatum Truffle (Tuber brumale moschatum De Ferry)

A variety of Winter Truffle characterized by its small size. It has a strong smell reminiscent of musk and has a taste that is slightly spicy and stronger than that of Winter Truffle.

It prefers calcareous soils, permeable, with high porosity even rich in humus and are created at a variable depth of about 5 and 30 cm in symbiosis with plants such as Aleppo Pine, Domestic Pine, Downy Oak, Holm Oak, Black Hornbeam, Hazelnut and Turkey Oak.

Black Smooth Truffle (Tuber macroscopum Vittadini)

It is undoubtedly the least known and least marketed type, but it is one of the most appreciated.  It owes its particular name to the smooth surface and with minimal gibbose lines. Despite its unusual appearance, it has a distinct and pleasant smell.

The Black Smooth Truffle has climatic needs very similar to those of the White Truffle. Although it has a greater drought resistance, it often shares the ripening soils with the most famous variant in the world. Probably this is one of the reasons why its notoriety is still limited: in the growing areas the attention is always focused on the White Truffle often putting in the shadows this variant with a smooth surface.

It is often considered a minor type of truffle but is actually endowed with unique and highly appreciable organoleptic and aromatic characteristics. Its peridium is characterized by sparse and little prominent spores, which give it a smooth and uniform rind. The body is globose and irregular, of brown or blackish colour. The gleba is of whitish brown colour that with the time is tending to rusty tones. It has many white fans that are quite large. The dimensions are reduced, often comparable to those of a hazelnut and between 1 and 6 centimeters.

It has a scent reminiscent of the White Truffle, but is more intense and persistent. The pleasant and aromatic smell is undoubtedly the most appreciable characteristic of this type of truffle, which in terms of fragrance can be combined with the most valuable types. It is also distinguished by the intense and persistent tones that make it ideal for various culinary uses. This species loves oaks, poplars, lindens, willows, hazels and black hornbeams.

Ordinary Black Truffle (Tuber mesentericum Vittaddini)

This truffle is characterized by a dense network of veins of the gleba arranged as to form a maze reminiscent of the intestine. For this reason it has been called mesentericum which means “similar to the intestine”.

The peridium is black and warty and the dimensions it can assume are on average small. In rare cases, specimens larger than the size of an egg have been found. 

It has a Phoenician smell, like bitumen, and a slightly bitter taste. These two factors lead it to have little commercial value. 

It prefers loose soils well ventilated even if rich in humus in symbiosis with plants such as Downy Oak, Turkey Oak, Black Pine, Hop Hornbeam, Hazel and Beech.

Harvest period

The 9 species reported are the only types of truffles that can be marketed, but you should know that they are not always available because each variety of truffle has specific collection times.

White Truffle (Tuber magnatum Pico)End of September – 31 January
Superior Black Truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vittadini)
1 December – 15 March
Black Winter Truffle (Tuber brumale Vittadini)1 January – 15 March
Moschatum Black Truffle (Tuber brumale moschatum De Ferry)1 January – 15 March
Bianchetto Truffle (Tuber albidum Pico o Tuber borchii Vittad.)15 January – 15 April 
Black Summer Truffle (Tuber aestivum Vittadini)1 May – 31 August
Uncinatum Truffle (Tuber uncinatum Chatin)End of September- 31 December
Ordinary Black Truffle (Tuber mesentericum Vittadini)End of September- 31 December
Smooth Black Truffle (Tuber macroscopum Vittadini)End of September- 31 December

N.B. remember that the period of truffle harvesting can vary from region to region, therefore we recommend that you make a check according to the legislation of the Region where you will go to perform the harvest.