There are over one hundred species of the Tuber type, of the Tuberaceae family. Therefore we will concentrate on the main ones. A truffle generally weighs between 20 to 100 grams. The biggest can weigh up to 200 grams even 300 grams. Fresh truffles can be preserved for a week in the refrigerator, in a closed box. Before eating them, you have to brush, wash and wipe them.

Black truffle Mushroom

Black truffle Mushroom

The black truffle or truffle of the Perigord, in Latin Tuber Melanosporum, grows uniquely in the limestone grounds at a depth of 1 to 15 centimeters at the base of trees called « Truffle trees » (green or white Oaks, Hazel trees, Lime tree, Pines…) This is the queen of the truffles, with a perfume and taste much sought after, it can generally be found in the south-east of France. But it can also be found in Morocco, Spain, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. It grows from mid-November to the end of March. It reaches its full maturity from mid-January to the end of March. It is then picked or « cavé », with the help of a truffle dog, a pig or flies. It sells for about 2000$ per Kilogram.

With their sharp sense of smell, dogs can find ripe truffles very easily, which are buried under the grounds’ superior layers. Hence, less time is wasted to dig around the truffle trees and pickers don’t dig out the ones that are not ripe, therefore less tasty. All dogs can be trained to find truffles. The pigs are less used because they are harder to control. The Sullia Giganta is a little long fly with orange eyes. It enables the truffle hunter to localize the mushroom because it searches for the truffle to lay its eggs. By watching it fly the picker can easily find the mushroom where it lands.

White Alba truffle Mushroom

White Alba truffle Mushroom

The Tuber Magnatum, known as the white Alba truffle, is by far the most expensive and sought after specie. It releases a strong smell of wild garlic, even cheese-like with a mineral touch. It is mostly eaten raw. Harvested from October to December, it sells on average 5000$ per kilogram. It’s the « Mozart of the mushrooms ». In 2007, during an auction in Tuscany, a white truffle weighing 1.5 Kg was sold for 330,000 dollars, about 223,000 Euros. A record price!

The Chinese truffles belong to the Tuberals family and contain the three following species: Tuber Himalayense, Tuber Indicum and Tuber Sinense. They are harvested with a tool that goes against the French “caveurs” standards. The Chinese pickers use a rake which damages the mycelium, and all the truffles are picked, even the ones that are not ripe. Therefore they have less taste or smell and have a tendency to absorb surrounding smells.

Take note of the 3 Latin names mentioned above. During your next purchase of truffles, either in can or in pot, read the label carefully because Chinese truffles are often packed in Europe and their price reflects the European one. It is inflated! The Chinese truffle sells for about 200$ per kilogram.
Caution. The artificial aroma of the black or white truffle is harmful at a high dosage because it is extracted with the use of violent poisons. These toxins are found in numerous traditional and industrial preparations of varieties of truffle oils, creams and other low-end products. Which for the most part, don’t even contain more truffles than a can of green beans. One must be cautious to attentively read the Latin name which must be the main ingredient; to then which water, salt or truffle juice is added.

Tuber Gibbosum Mushroom

Tuber Gibbosum Mushroom

In the western part of Canada grows the Tuber Gibbosum and the Tuber Leucangium (Picoa Carthusiana). These are wild truffles.
In the United-States, the white and black truffles of Oregon are commercialized. Three varieties of truffles are used by many North-American cooks.
The Tuber Gibbosum, the white truffle of Spring is harvested from January to June in the young white pine plantations of Oregon.
The Tuber Oregonese, the white truffle of Winter is picked from October to February in the same geographic zones. Both sell at more or less 100$ per kilogram.
The Leucangium Carthusianum, that Oregon black truffle, is sometimes identified in France under the name of Picoa Carthusiana or Picoa des Chartreux; it is picked in the Toulouse area under green Oaks. In the United-States, it can be found under the Douglas pine trees to depths of about 10 to 25 centimeters. At time of harvest, a peculiar smell of pineapple and mango can be noticed. It is priced at more or less 400$ per kilogram.

Vitamins and minerals:
Truffles are high in proteins, amino acid essential and contain the following minerals; Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Copper, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc. Vitamins A, B group and C are also present.
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Truffle Mushroom

New countries such as Australia (New South Wales, Tasmania) and Israel (Galilee) are trying to develop the truffle production.

Vitamins Details

Vitamin B1, also called thiamin. Vitamin B1 is part of a necessary energy coenzyme, mainly from carbohydrates we eat. It also participates in the transmission of nerve impulses and promotes normal growth.
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin. Like the B1 vitamin, vitamin B2 plays a role in the energy metabolism of our cells. In addition, it contributes to the growth and repair of tissues, the creation of hormones and the formation of red blood cells.
Vitamin B3, also called niacin, is involved in many metabolic reactions and particularly contributes to the production of energy from carbohydrates, fats, proteins and alcohol we consume. It collaborates in the process formation of DNA, allowing normal growth and development.
Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is part of a key coenzyme allowing us to use adequately the energy from the food we eat. It also participates in several steps of the synthesis (fabrication) of steroid hormones, neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses) and hemoglobin.
Vitamin B6, plays a role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases in the manufacture of insulin and histamine (a substance that occurs during allergic reactions) in the production and digestion of amino acids. This vitamin is absorbed from the intestine and a large part is found in the muscles.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is used in the manufacture of collagen, maintaining the immune system, wound healing, in the formation of red blood cells and to facilitate the absorption of iron from vegetables. Cannot be synthesized by the body, it must be drawn from the daily diet. It is soluble in water but very fragile, as air, light and heat can easily alter it.
Vitamin D works closely with the health of bones and teeth, making them available calcium and phosphorus in the blood, among others for the growth of the bone structure. It also plays a role in the maturation of the cells, including the immune system. The main source of vitamin D is in the sunlight, because UV exposure triggers the creation of vitamin D in your skin. It is important to have a sufficient amount of this vitamin to allow calcium to be absorbed and used properly.
Vitamin E prevents oxidation of certain chemicals in the body. Oxidation is a mechanism associated with the production of free radicals that are involved in the onset of many diseases. Vitamin E protects cell including those of the skin and helps slow aging skin membranes.
Vitamin K is one of coagulation. It is fat-soluble; it prevents and treats osteoporosis, inflammatory diseases and cardiovascular disorders.
Copper is important in the development of hemoglobin and collagen (protein used in the structure and tissue repair) in the body.  Several copper-containing enzymes in various biochemical reactions contribute to the creation of red blood cells and also in defending the body against free radicals.
Selenium this mineral works with a key antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which purges the body of toxins, which contributes to the metabolism of vitamin E which prevents the development of free radicals in the body. It also helps convert thyroid hormones in their active form. The majority of commonly consumed mushrooms have significant amounts of this important mineral which has a positive influence on the brain.
Phosphorus is the most abundant mineral in the body after calcium. It plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. In addition, he participated among others in the growth and regeneration of tissues and helps maintain normal blood pH. Finally, phosphorus is one of the constituents of cell membranes.
Potassium is found in large quantities in mushrooms. In the body, potassium is used to balance the pH of the blood and stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and promoting digestion. In addition, it facilitates muscle contraction, including that of the heart, and is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Iron is into the compounds of each of our cells. This mineral is essential for transporting oxygen and the formation of red blood cells. In addition, it stores oxygen and detects the failure in the blood. It also plays a role in the production of cells, hormones and neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). Many enzymes depend on the iron supplement for their biochemical processes.
Zinc including immune reactions involved in the production of genetic material, the perception of taste, wound healing and the development of the fetus. This mineral also interacts with sexual and thyroid hormones. In the pancreas, it is involved in the synthesis, the reservation and release of insulin.

Explications des vitamines

La vitamine B1, appelée aussi thiamine. La vitamine B1 fait partie d’un coenzyme nécessaire à la production d’énergie, principalement à partir des glucides que nous ingérons. Elle participe aussi à la transmission de l’influx nerveux et favorise une croissance normale.
La vitamine B2, est aussi connue sous le nom de riboflavine. Tout comme la vitamine B1, la vitamine B2 joue un rôle dans le métabolisme de l’énergie de toutes nos cellules. De plus, elle contribue à la croissance et à la réparation des tissus, à la production d’hormones et à la formation des globules rouges.
La vitamine B3, appelée aussi niacine, participe à de nombreuses réactions métaboliques et contribue particulièrement à la production d’énergie à partir des glucides, des lipides, des protéines et de l’alcool que nous ingérons. Elle collabore aussi au processus de formation de l’ADN, permettant une croissance et un développement normaux.
La vitamine B5, également nommée acide pantothénique, fait partie d’un coenzyme clé nous permettant d’utiliser de façon adéquate l’énergie des aliments que nous consommons. Elle participe aussi à plusieurs étapes de la synthèse (fabrication) des hormones stéroïdiennes, des neurotransmetteurs (messagers dans l’influx nerveux) et de l’hémoglobine.
La vitamine B6, joue un rôle dans la prévention des maladies cardio-vasculaire, dans la fabrication de l’insuline et de l’histamine (substance qui intervient lors des réactions allergiques), dans la production et la digestion des acides aminés. Cette vitamine est absorbée au niveau de l’intestin et une grande partie se retrouve dans les muscles.
La vitamine C, ou acide ascorbique. La vitamine C sert à la fabrication du collagène, au maintien du système immunitaire, à la cicatrisation des plaies, à la formation des globules rouges et à faciliter l’absorption du fer contenu dans les végétaux. Ne pouvant être synthétisée par l’organisme, elle doit donc être puisée dans l’alimentation quotidienne. Elle est soluble dans l’eau mais cependant très fragile, car l’air, la lumière et la chaleur peuvent facilement l’altérer.
La vitamine D, cette vitamine collabore étroitement à la santé des os et des dents, en rendant disponibles le calcium et le phosphore dans le sang, entre autres pour la croissance de la structure osseuse. Elle joue aussi un rôle dans la maturation des cellules, dont celles du système immunitaire. La source principale de vitamine D réside dans les rayons du soleil, car l’exposition aux rayons ultraviolets déclenche le processus de création de vitamine D dans votre peau. Il est important de disposer d’une quantité suffisante de cette vitamine pour permettre au calcium d’être absorbé et utilisé adéquatement.
La vitamine E, prévient l’oxydation de certaines substances chimiques dans l’organisme. L’oxydation est un mécanisme associé à la production de radicaux libres qui sont impliqués dans l’apparition de nombreuses pathologies. La vitamine E protège les membranes cellulaires notamment celles de la peau et elle contribue à ralentir le vieillissement cutané.
La vitamine K, est celle de la coagulation. Elle est liposoluble (soluble dans le gras), elle prévient et traite l’ostéoporose, les maladies inflammatoires et les troubles cardiovasculaires.
Le Cuivre est nécessaire à la formation de l’hémoglobine et du collagène (protéine servant à la structure et à la réparation des tissus) dans l’organisme. Plusieurs enzymes contenant du cuivre contribuent à diverses réactions biochimiques, à la création de globules rouges et également à la défense du corps contre les radicaux libres.
Le Sélénium ce minéral travaille avec l’un des principaux enzymes antioxydants la peroxydase glutathione, qui purge le corps de ses toxines, qui contribue au métabolisme de la vitamine E ce qui prévient la formation de radicaux libres dans l’organisme. Il contribue aussi à convertir les hormones thyroïdiennes en leur forme active. La majorité des champignons consommés en général ont une quantité significative de ce minéral, qui exerce une influence bénéfique sur le cerveau.
Le phosphore, le phosphore constitue le minéral le plus abondant dans l’organisme après le calcium. Il joue un rôle essentiel dans la formation et le maintien de la santé des os et des dents. De plus, il participe entre autres à la croissance et à la régénérescence des tissus et aide à maintenir à la normale le pH du sang. Finalement, le phosphore est l’un des constituants des membranes cellulaires.
Le potassium,  se trouve en grande quantités dans les champignons. Dans l’organisme, le potassium sert à équilibrer le pH du sang et à stimuler la production d’acide chlorhydrique par l’estomac, favorisant ainsi la digestion. De plus, il facilite la contraction des muscles, incluant celui du cœur, et participe à la transmission de l’influx nerveux.
Le fer, entre dans les composés de chacune de nos cellules. Ce minéral est essentiel au transport de l’oxygène et à la formation des globules rouges dans le sang. De plus, il emmagasine l’oxygène et détecte son insuffisance dans le sang. Il joue aussi un rôle dans la fabrication des cellules, des hormones et des neurotransmetteurs (messagers dans l’influx nerveux). Plusieurs enzymes dépendent du fer pour compléter leurs processus biochimiques.
Le zinc, participe notamment aux réactions immunitaires, à la fabrication du matériel génétique, à la perception du goût, à la cicatrisation des plaies et au développement du fœtus. Ce minéral interagit également avec les hormones sexuelles et thyroïdiennes. Dans le pancréas, il participe à la synthèse, à la mise en réserve et à la libération de l’insuline.