What You Should Know
This black truffle belongs to the Tuberaceae (Pezizales, Pezizomycetes) in the Aestivum clade of the Tuber genus. The name of this truffle derives from the hook-shaped spores. The fruity body is large and ranges from the size of an egg to that of an orange, but at times even larger than 10 cm in diameter. The skin is black. Its odor resembles that of a hazelnut. It ripens all year round but mostly from September to January.
Molecular analysis showed no differences between Tuber aestivum and Tuber uncinatum. Differences in taste, odor and spore morphology are because of ecological factors.
It is mainly found in Europe due to its weather conditions since it needs fewer hours of light and more humidity than in the Mediterranean climate conditions.
Other names: Autum Truffle, Burgundy Truffle.
Tuber uncinatum Mushroom Identification
Hypogeous, subglobose, sometimes basal cavity, 2-10 cm, blackish-brown to black, conspicuously warted. Warts 3-9 mm across, usually smaller than those observed in Tuber aestivum, pyramidal, 4-6-sided, vertically fissured, sometimes with transversal striation.
Firm, solid, white when immature, becoming dark brown at maturity, darker than Tuber aestivum gleba, marbled with numerous, thin, white, meandering, branching veins that do not change color when exposed to the air.
Medium intensity, stronger than Tuber aestivum odor, different, sometimes phenolic and unpleasant when very ripe.
Medium intensity, stronger than Tuber aestivum taste, nutty.
Grows always in shady places (Tuber aestivum usually in sunny places). It is the most frequent edible truffle in Europe. Their period of ripeness is from October through January. Tuber uncinatum are associated with the roots of several trees: oaks (Quercus), beeches (Fagus sylvatica), poplars (Populus), hazels (Corylus), pines (Pinus) and lindens (Tilia).
Tuber uncinatum Storage
For optimal storage of your fresh Truffles, please: Do not remove the soil from the truffles – Wrap individual truffles in a clean absorbent paper towel – Place the paper-wrapped truffles inside a closed jar in the fridge (temperature +2°C/6°C) – Change the paper towel every day – Just before eating them, they must be washed with water and brushed under the tap. Dry well with a paper towel or kitchen cloth.
Tuber uncinatum Synonyms
Tuber cibarium Corda (1842), Icones fungorum 5:68, t. 5 f. 46
Tuber bituminatum Berkeley et Broome(1851), Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. II 7: 183
Tuber culinare Zobel var. mesentericum (Vittadini) Zobel (1854), in (Corda) Zobel Iconum fungorum 6: 82
Tuber culinare Zobel var. tesserulatum Zobel (1854), in (Corda) Zobel Iconum fungorum 6: 83
Tuber culinare Zobel var. tulasneanum Zobel (1854), in (Corda) Zobel Iconum fungorum 6: 83
Tuber culinare Zobel var. lespiaultianum Zobel (1854), in (Corda) Zobel Iconum fungorum 6: 83
Tuber culinare Zobel var. rabenhorstii Corda (1854), in (Corda) Zobel Iconum fungorum 6: 83, t. 18 f. 13
Tuber mutabile Quélet (1881), C. R. Ass. franç. Av. Sc. (Reims, 1880) 9: 671, t. 8 f. 14
Tuber bituminatum Berkeley et Broome var. ellipsosporum Ferry de la Bellone (1888), La Truffe 144
Tuber maresa Font Quer (1930), in Codina & Font Quer Cavanillesia 3: 179 (1930)
Tuber aestivum Vittadini var. mesentericum (Vittadini) Trappe (1979), Mycotaxon 9(1): 311, t. 3 f. 29c
Photo 1 - Author: Rippitippi (Public Domain)
Photo 2 - Author: Arnaud 25 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Rippitippi (Public Domain)