Fresh Italian Black Summer Truffles (Tuber Aestivum) is also known as “Scorzone”. The Italian Black Summer truffle’s fruiting body has a rough alligator skin-like surface covered with small diamond-shaped projections, molded by stones surrounding it in the soil. When mature, the Italian Black Summer truffle is near black on the surface with a pale grey flesh and white marbling that does not change color when exposed to air. It has a rich woodsy aroma with flavors of garlic, wild mushroom and earthy hazelnut undertones.
Black Summer truffles are more subtle than the winter variety. They can be shaved fresh as a finishing element or infused into sauces to add depth. The volatile compounds that release truffles’ distinct aroma are compromised when overcooked, but fats can capture and encapsulate those aromas. Thus, it is often that they are paired with rich foods such as meat, cheese and eggs. Black Summer truffles pair well with lobster, caviar, fois gras, pasta, cream sauces, garlic, shallots, light-bodied vinegars, mascarpone, aged hard cheeses, citrus and herbs such as tarragon, basil and arugula. Truffles will keep, dry and tightly wrapped or stored in rice, for one to two weeks.
The Italian Black Summer truffle grows naturally and elusively below the soil’s surface in open woodlands, characterized by the absence of plant life under the trees. Theses bare areas, signifying the presence of truffles are called terre brule (burned ground). The Italian Black Summer truffle, though most common in Italy, is not exclusive to Italy, rather it is found in abundance throughout Europe.