What You Should Know
Tuber aestivum, also known as the summer truffle, is a fascinating and highly prized mushroom that is prized for its unique aroma and flavor. Two types of Tuber fungi, Tuber uncinatum and Tuber aestivum, have different smells and tastes and are sold at different prices. It's still unclear if they are two separate types of fungus. Tuber aestivum smells like nuts, radishes, or mushrooms and tastes more like mushrooms than a black truffle. These fungi grow underground and are rarely seen by people, so it's hard to know how common they are. They can be found in many parts of Europe, including the UK and Ireland.
Unlike other truffle species, the summer truffle has a distinctive aroma that is often described as earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet. Its flavor is also unique, with notes of hazelnut, garlic, and even chocolate. These characteristics make it a highly sought-after ingredient in many high-end restaurants and gourmet kitchens around the world.
In addition to its culinary uses, Tuber aestivum has also been used for medicinal purposes. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is sometimes used to treat respiratory and digestive problems.
Other names: Summer Truffle.
Tuber aestivum Mushroom Identification
The fruit bodies range from 0.98 to 3.15 inches (2.5 to 8 cm) in diameter, rounded, bulbous, black, with pyramidal warts 0.08 to 0.39 inches (0.2 to 1 cm) in diameter.
The flesh is white at first, later yellow-brown, with light yellowish veins and a pleasant smell.
Asci are 60-70 * 50-65 μm, elliptical, 1-6-spored. Spores are 24 * 17 μm (in 6-spored asci) or 45 * 30 μm (in single-spored asci), elliptical, with a net surface and brown color.
How to Find Tuber aestivum
Tuber aestivum, also known as the summer truffle, is a subterranean mushroom that grows underground in certain types of soil. Here are some tips on how to find them:
Look in areas where Tuber aestivum is known to grow
The summer truffle is found in various regions throughout Europe and other parts of the world. It prefers calcareous or alkaline soils, and is often found in forests with oak, hazelnut, poplar, linden, and beech trees.The harvesting season goes from May until July, and it is even longer if the conditions are right.
Use trained dogs or pigs
Truffle hunting dogs or pigs can be trained to locate Tuber aestivum by scent. These animals can be trained to find truffles by digging and scratching at the ground above them.
Look for signs of other animals
Other animals, such as squirrels, mice, and wild boars, also like to eat truffles. Look for signs of animals digging or scratching at the ground, as this may indicate the presence of truffles.
Check with local truffle hunters
Truffle hunters may be able to give you information about where to find Tuber aestivum in your area. They may also be able to sell or trade truffles with you.
Attend truffle festivals or events
Many regions have truffle festivals or events where you can taste and purchase truffles. These events may also include truffle hunting demonstrations or guided tours.
Note: It's important to only harvest truffles from areas where it is legal to do so and to obtain any necessary permits or permissions.
Tuber aestivum Look-Alikes
This mushroom is closely related to Tuber aestivum and has a similar flavor and aroma.
Another truffle that is similar to Tuber aestivum, but has a slightly milder flavor.
This truffle is often called the "winter truffle" and has a similar aroma to Tuber aestivum, but with a stronger flavor.
Known as the "black truffle," this mushroom is more expensive than Tuber aestivum and has a stronger flavor and aroma.
This is the most expensive truffle and has a strong, unique flavor that is different from Tuber aestivum. It is often used in high-end cuisine.
Six Tips to Store Tuber aestivum
To preserve Tuber aestivum truffles, here are some general tips:
Store them in a paper bag or wrapped in paper towels to help absorb excess moisture. Do not use plastic bags or airtight containers, as this can cause the truffles to become soft and moldy.
Keep them in the refrigerator at a temperature between 32-39°F (0-4°C). It is important to keep the temperature consistent and avoid fluctuations.
Change the paper or paper towel every day to keep the truffles dry.
Do not wash the truffles before storing them as this can cause them to deteriorate quickly. Only clean them right before use.
Use the truffles within a week or two for the best flavor and aroma.
You can also freeze the truffles by grating or slicing them and storing them in an airtight container in the freezer. However, freezing can affect the texture and flavor of the truffles, so it is not the preferred method of preservation.
Tuber aestivum Taxonomy and Etymology
The Summer Truffle was named by an Italian mycologist in 1831 and is scientifically called Tuber aestivum. Tuber means "lump" in Latin. The name aestivum comes from a Latin word meaning "summer."
Tuber aestivum Video
Photo 1 - Author: Rippitippi (Public Domain)
Photo 2 - Author: Rippitippi (Public Domain)
Photo 3 - Author: Rippitippi (Public Domain)