Truffles are underground mushrooms and are considered to be the ultimate gastronomic experience. The hazelnut trees have had their roots impregnated with the truffle spores, and the varieties chosen are both indigenous (native) and suitable for growing here (the black summer truffle is also called the English truffle!!). Other varieties like the very expensive White pregiato Alba truffle are very unlikely to grow here, which is why they are very expensive - they will only grow in Alba in Piemonte and Aqualagna in Umbria. Use freshly sliced on a variety of dishes, with pasta, risotto, polenta, eggs and potatoes, to flavour olive oil, marscarpone cheese or parmesan, and to freeze. There are producing truffle farms all over Europe, and newer ones in the USA & UK. Truffle prices reached record prices in 2003 due to a lack of availability, despite the fact there are over 100,000 registered truffle hunters in Italy !! There are probably as many truffles in the UK as Italy, but no-one really goes looking for them here and there are no truffle dogs, although there are 4 producing truffle farms!!
Black Summer Truffle Scorzone (Tuber Aestivum Vittad.) – The easiest of all truffles for artificial cultivation and Scorzone truffles with eggs are famous. You can also grate the truffle into parmesan cheese or into olive oil, and it is excellent with meats, pasta, potatoes or sauces. Walnut to orange sized truffles. A very good low/mid priced truffle (@30p per gram fresh). Harvest Jun-Sep.
Bianchetto (or Marzuolo) white truffles (Tuber Borchii Vittad.) - One of the easiest truffles to grow tolerating a range of soils from sandy to clay, and wonderful used in Frittata, mixed with mascarpone and spread onto bruschetta, grated onto pasta, risotto or polenta, and to make truffle cream sauces. Intense perfume and flavour costing £2.40 per gram fresh. Pea to apricot sized truffles. Small harvests are possible out of season, but it's main harvest pe..