Tuscany is famous for White Truffles: we wrote a post about them not so long ago! But they are not the only types of truffles to be found or served in our region. Here is a brief look at our varieties of this rare and costly tuber, ending with the Tartufo Bianco, the king of them all.
Nero Pregiato: This truffle has a wrinkled, black outer layer that is dotted with tiny warts. Its pulp has a black-violet shade and its veining is lighter colored than the pulp. The Nero Pregiato varies in size and has a very pleasant fragrance. These are found mostly around Florence, Siena, and Arezzo, and they mature beginning in November and continuing to mid-March. After the Tartufo Bianco, these are the second most prized or our truffles.
Nero Uncinato: This truffle is found all over Tuscany, and it is known by its black, warty outer layer and chocolate brown pulp with numerous, branching, light-colored veining. Both its flavor and fragrance are intense.
Scorzone: Also possessing a rough, black, warty outer layer, this truffle has yellowish pulp with light-colored veining. It too is of varying size, and it can also be found all over Tuscany. Both its fragrance and flavor are pleasantly mushroomy.
Bianchetto or Marzuolo: This is a small truffle tending toward a red-gold outer color with a light-colored pulp. It has a garlicky flavor and is found along the Tuscany coast. The Uncinato, the Scorzone, and Marzuolo are not highly prized truffles, or especially valuable. They are used often, but not with the reverence and renown of our Tartufo Bianco.
Tartufo Bianco: the king of Tuscan truffles, this smooth tuber with a yellow outer layer is also known as the “noble” truffle. It is highly prized for its rarity and wonderful flavor and extremely pleasant aroma. The Tartufo Bianco is found in varying sized, and its pulp also varies in color, ranging from a faint nut-brown to dark brown. These mature from mid-October to the end of December. They are most typically found in the Val D’Elsa, the Crete Senesi, and around San Miniato. However, they are also sometimes found in the Mugello, in Casentino, and in the Val Tiberina. The Tartufo Bianco lives in symbiosis with a number of trees, including the walnut, oak, poplar, willow, hornbeam, pine, and linden.
Our cooking school can actually organize and arrange truffle hunts: they are one of our culinary tour’s additional activities.