The Top 5 Tips to Become a Truffle Expert

As the popularity of gourmet pizzas continues to rise, we decided to dedicate a blog post to demystifying the virtues of one of the world’s most luxurious ingredients. Truffles of all kinds pair well with high-quality pizzas, but learning to use and choose truffles properly takes time and experience.

Now that white truffle season is upon us, we checked in with Sabrina Notarnicola  VP of Marketing & Brand Strategist at Urbani Truffles, one of our partners,  to find out what we should look for when choosing white truffles. This is what she had to say:

The top 5 characteristics of truffles that experts look for are:

1) the smell of pungent gas

2) touch –  they should feel firm

3) the more they weigh, the better it is because heaviness means that the truffle has more water and is fresher

4) the appearance of the  skin should be smooth

5)  look for how much soil is around it the truffle – more soil = freshness

Did you know that white truffles have been cultivated since antiquity? The ancient Romans attributed therapeutic and aphrodisiac properties to the truffle, and today many truffle-aficionados would agree!

The winter white truffle (Tuber magnatum ) hails from Northern Italy and is harvested from late September to December.  Truffles grow a few inches under the ground and evolve from a symbiotic relationship with the roots of hardwood trees such as the oaks, chestnut, hazelnut, and others. The irregularly shaped nuggets range in size from an inch to over a pound – but the larger ones are more rare . The firm flesh of a white truffle is an off-white color with marbling throughout.

The pungent aroma of the truffles was once sought out by pigs, but now dogs are preferred because it is easier to prevent them from eating the truffles. Urbani has been picking and distributing delicate white truffles since the early 1900’s ! White truffles needs a special care and a particular attention to reach the most prestigious tables around the world in perfect condition. Urbani handles over 70% of European fresh truffles, and is the undisputed world leader in fresh truffles and truffle products. To learn how to store fresh white truffles, click here.

We enjoyed serving truffle-topped pizzas made by Master Pizzaiolo Giulo Adriani  at our Gourmet Global Pizza Party with Les Dames d’Escoffier. If you’re looking for a great way to top your pizzas with truffles? Check out Urbani’s selection here.  Sabrina recommends the “Truffle Thrills Sauces” for pizza – and so do we!

The recipe for Urbani White Truffle and Porcini Pizza that hails from the Tyrol region of Italy in the Southern Alps is also not to be missed!

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