Tuber Aestivum: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Tuber Aestivum Mushroom
Tuber species are ectomycorrhizal fungi that establish symbioses with shrubs and trees. Because of their different smell and taste, Tuber uncinatum and Tuber aestivum are two truffle morphotypes with a different market value, but whether or not T. uncinatum and T. aestivum are different taxa is still an open debate among mycologists.
Tuber Aestivum has a nutty smell, a radishes smell or a very mushroomy smell: its flavor is closer to the one of mushrooms than to black truffle.
The Summer Truffle or Burgundy Truffle is known to occur throughout Europe, including the UK and Ireland where it is a rare find. Being subterranean, these mushrooms are rarely seen by people walking in woodlands, and so their frequency of occurrence is a matter of conjecture.
Other names: White Summer Truffle, San Juan Truffle.
Tuber Aestivum Habitat
You can find Tuber aestivum in the same places as Tuber melanosporum (well drained, airated calcareous soils with high porosity).
Tuber aestivum grows in more compact and clayey soils, usually in sunny places (unlike Tuber uncinatum always in shady places). Tuber aestivum inhibits plants growing and makes more conspicuous "burns" than Tuber melanosporum. Black summer truffles grow quite superficial and we can detect their presence through the cracks in the soil. They are sometimes found under leaf litter.
The harvesting season goes from May until July, and it is even longer if the conditions are right.
Tuber aestivum are associated with the roots of several trees: oaks (Quercus), beeches (Fagus sylvatica), poplars (Populus), hazels (Corylus), pines (Pinus) and lindens (Tilia).
Tuber Aestivum Cooking Notes
The summer truffle is excellent when it reaches its full growth where traditional sauces can be made by adding it to olive oil hot but not boiling, a touch of garlic, salt, and pepper. Ideal for canapés and first courses, meat and fish; we advise to cut them in slices for very special salads.
Tuber Aestivum Similar Mushrooms
There is a variety of the Tuber Aestivum Vitt, called Tuber Mesetericum Vitt, that, for some mycologists, is a different kind of tuber, even though its microscopic characteristics are very similar. At sight, is sensibly smaller, with smaller projections and a pronounced hollow.
But the main difference is in its smell, being the Tuber Mesentericum Vitt very unpleasant, unfit to serve for cooking. The tuber is very similar in the outside, but the gleba is almost black and the flavor much more intense. The harvesting season is in winter, from December to March.
How to preserve Tuber Aestivum?
The preservation can take place in the refrigerator, for short periods or in the freezer for longer periods:
In the refrigerator (between 2 ° and 6 °)
It can be wrapped individually in an absorbent paper or enclosed in an airtight food container. The container must be replaced, if necessary, every day.
Small white molds may form around the truffle, resulting from normal perspiration and water loss; in this case, the truffle is not yet ruined. It can be defined as ruined when it begins to lose its consistency, to become soft, and consequently to emit a bad smell.
Storage Period : approx 7-10 days.
In the freezer
Whole: after cleaning and drying the Fresh Black truffle, it can be frozen whole in a glass or plastic container for food use. In this case, it must still be used frozen. Storage period: About 5 Months.
Tuber Aestivum Taxonomy & Etymology
When in 1831 Italian mycologist Carlo Vittadini (1800 - 1865) described the Summer Truffle he gave it the scientific binomial name Tuber aestivum, and that is still its generally-accepted scientific name.
Tuber mesentericum Vittad. is a synonym of Tuber Aestivum.
Tuber, the generic name, comes directly from the Latin word tuber, meaning a lump or swelling. The specific epithet aestivum comes from the Latin aestivus meaning summer.
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