Unlock the Secrets of Summer Truffles: Everything You Need to Know
Are you thinking of adding some fresh Summer Truffles to your own kitchen? Lucky for you, at Premium Truffles we've spent years supplying some of the world's finest restaurants (Le Bernardin, Masa, Atera...) with these delectable truffles - and we've been around long enough to know exactly what you need to know about these elusive delicacies. Here's your comprehensive guide to understanding, buying and cooking with this precious truffle variety. Enjoy!
What exactly are Summer Truffles?
Summer truffles (Tuber Aestivum; also known as “Black Summer Truffles”) provide a unique and delicious culinary experience. Found growing in Southern Europe (France, Italy, Spain) and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary) between the months of April and August, these truffles boast a light, delicate aroma and flavor, making them the most affordable variety of truffle available. Bursting with a nutty, creamy, and sweet taste, these delicious delights are sure to tantalize your taste buds and make every meal special.
Why are Summer Truffles Misunderstood?
Though they are highly sought after for their intense flavor and aroma, Summer Truffles are often misunderstood. Their rarity and cost can lead to misconceptions about their flavor and texture, as well as how to properly enjoy them. The truth is, these delicious fungi are a delectable treat that can add a unique and luxurious element to any dish. With a little knowledge, you can take full advantage of their deliciousness.
Ignorance may be bliss when it comes to Summer Truffles, as many are unfamiliar with their true taste due to the pervasive, but inaccurate, truffle-flavored products on the market. While these products will provide plenty of umami, they do not come close to providing the flavor depth of fresh Summer Truffles. Your first bite of a real Summer Truffle will be worlds away from what you expect, but that shouldn't be a deterrent – it just means it's time to embrace the wide and unique spectrum of truffle flavors. From Black or White Winter to Summer truffles, no two will taste, smell or look the same – and that's exactly what makes truffles so special!
Summer Truffles may seem like Black Truffles at first glance, since their skin is dark and coarse. However, these two types of Truffles are distinct and should not be confused. Black Truffles refer to the expensive variety of Winter Truffles (Tuber Melanosporum), also called Perigords. Unfortunately, many restaurants don't make this distinction clear on their menus, and misleadingly charge customers a high price for Summer Truffles. Summer Truffles may vary in colour on the inside - from white and cream to light and dark brown, depending on the time of year. They are sometimes incorrectly referred to as White Summer Truffles, a name usually reserved for White Winter Truffles, an even more expensive variety. If you are ordering Black Truffles and the menu doesn't specify which type they are, make sure to ask before you make a costly mistake!
Summer Truffles are a unique delicacy unlike any other!
They are found more abundantly during the summer months when the weather is warm, making them much easier and more affordable to find. Compared to their winter counterparts, summer truffles are more intensely flavorful and their aroma is more intense, making summer truffles a popular choice among chefs and food lovers alike. Furthermore, the texture of the truffles is firmer and smoother, offering a different taste and texture than those harvested during the winter months.
When it comes to truffle costs, the differences in price between Summer Truffles and Black Winter or White Winter Truffles may seem puzzling. Though truffle prices change every week, typically Summer Truffles have a retail cost that is two to four times less than that of Winter Truffles. So why are Winter Truffles generally pricier? The market price changes from year to year, but one of the primary factors is that Winter Truffles are rarer and can only be harvested during a limited time period. As a result, the demand for Winter Truffles typically outstrips the supply, leading to their higher price tag.
Appearance is only one thing that sets Summer Truffles apart. What really differentiates them is their unique aroma, flavor, and sometimes texture - all of which are drastically different from Black Winter, White Winter, and even Burgundy (Fall) truffles. The taste of Summer Truffles is also much lighter than these other varieties, meaning they are also less expensive. However, don't be fooled into expecting a similar tasting experience as with the other popular (and expensive) truffle varieties - they are completely different. When purchasing Summer Truffles, be sure to keep this in mind, as it may help clear up any confusion around these unique and flavorful truffles.
Black Winter Truffles have an intense earthy flavor and a unique umami profile, with touches of dark chocolate laced throughout. White Winter Truffles (Alba Truffles) are powerfully pungent and garlicky, reminiscent of aged Parmesan cheese. For a truly unforgettable experience, indulge in the complex and exotic flavors of these signature winter truffles.
If you anticipate Summer Truffles to provide the same flavors and aroma as their more popular cousins, you may be left feeling disappointed. But, you'd be wrong in expecting similar characteristics — it's like comparing a Provence rosé wine to a Cabernet Sauvignon red. Summer Truffles possess their own unique flavor and aroma that can become a delicious addition to your dish — once you keep an open mind.
What can you expect from Summer Truffles?
Are you looking for a unique twist on the classic truffle flavor? Then Summer Truffles are perfect for you! Although they may not have the same intense flavor as white or black truffles, they are still worth the experience and are sure to add a delightful sweet, buttery flavor and aroma to your meals. With notes of hazelnuts and almonds and a more subtle flavor, Summer Truffles can be the perfect complement to a Sunday night pasta and Netflix dinner. So if you’re a truffle nerd or simply curious foodie, don’t hesitate to try out Summer Truffles today—you won’t be disappointed!
What can you expect from Summer Truffles?
When it comes to using Summer Truffles, there are mainly two ways you can go. The first, more common approach is what many restaurants opt for - the "Classic Style." This involves using Summer Truffles as more of a garnish and flavor enhancer, made easy with the addition of fresh truffles and truffle oil. While it's an easy way to enjoy the truffles, it isn't the most adventurous way to use them.
For a more "Purist Style" approach, stay as true as possible to the subtle taste of Summer Truffles. Create a classic dish like truffle pasta, truffled eggs or truffle risotto, drizzling our Black Truffle Oil for the perfect flavor. Unlike White Truffle Oil, our Black Truffle Oil is more delicate and closer in flavor to summer truffles - and they often grow in the same areas. To give your dish extra dimension and flavor, simply shave fresh truffles on top. Enjoy!
If you're looking to bring a Summer Truffle twist to your menu this season, you've come to the right place. The "Purist Style" method is a route preferred by many Michelin starred chefs, but it's a bit more challenging than traditional truffle recipes. The idea here is to skip truffle-infused products and embrace the fresh, nutty, and buttery aspect of the Summer Truffles, which requires creativity and research to find ingredients to pair beautifully and accentuate their flavor. Dishes such as crudos, tartares, or salads work best for the Summer Truffle recipes as they will allow for the flavors to come through without overshadowing the main dish. Plus, these lighter types of dishes are more “summery” and therefore more fitting for the season. If you really want to bring out the earthy umami of the truffle, top the dish with a small amount of our Truffle Salt for that classic flavor without overpowering the fresh Summer Truffles. So go ahead and start creating! You've got this!
How to best use Summer Truffles?
Summer truffles are a delicious and luxurious ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways. From infusing oils, sauces and pasta dishes with truffle flavor, to topping crostinis and eggs, truffles can add a unique earthy flavor and aroma to any dish. Here are some tips on how to best use summer truffles:
• Buy only the freshest summer truffles. Fresh summer truffles harvested in their prime will have the best aroma and flavor.
• Grate truffles over dishes just before serving to retain their flavor and aroma.
• Infuse oils and sauces with truffles by slowly cooking the truffles in the oil or sauce.
• Mix truffle paste into your pasta dishes for an added depth of flavor.
• Top your Crostinis with fresh truffle slices or the paste.
• Eggs and omelettes can be enhanced with a light sprinkle of truffle salt.
• Preserve and store truffles in truffle oil for an amazing flavor in your dishes.