A decree of 1996 determines that 9 types of truffles shall be allowed for trading in France - even if not all of them occur in France.
We would like to give you an overview of those 9 most important types.
Périgord Truffle (Tuber Melanosporum)
The correct botanical denomination of the "Périgord Truffle" is
Tuber Melanosporum Vit.. It is also known by the name of "black truffle" or "french black truffle". However, those names are not appropriate as the name "black truffle" is often used in combination with other truffles as well and therefore highly misleading. The fruiting body of the Périgord truffle grows between April and June reaching maturity between November and February. The black-brown skin (called "Pyridium") consists of many small pyramidal cusps - around 1mm high. During maturation the color of the skin changes from red-brown to black once it is fully mature. Their flesh (around September) is white, then gray and becomes anthracite starting from mid November. Later in the season, it even becomes slightly blue. The flesh is permeated by characteristic white veins which turn brown with age. These veins belong to the mycelium.
Alba Truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico)
The Alba truffle is certainly one of the best know truffle types - and the most expensive one as well. It is also called
Piemont-Truffle or - more commonly - white truffle. It is the most appreciated truffle type in Italy.
Their skin is even and of yellow-green to ocher-yellow color. Their flesh is firm and their color is yellow-green, pale cream or brown with white to brownish marbling. Its taste reminds of a composition of garlic, shallot and cheese.
Musky Truffle (Tuber Brumale)
The truffle-hunters call it "
Musquée" because of its intense smell. The skin and its flesh is very similar to the Périgord-Truffle, which leads very often to confusions. Her odor however cannot deceive adepts. In our opinion, it is less digestible.
Once mature, the skin of the musky truffle can be abraded alone with the fingers.
Burgund-Truffle (Tuber Uncinatum Chatin)
Because of its slight taste of haselnut, the burgundy-truffle is appreciated as substitute by the chefs. However, it is not comparable to the Périgord truffle or the Alba truffle.
Summer truffle (Tuber Aestivum)
It is a truffle type growing along the summer months. The first mature summer truffles can be found in late may.
They're harvested until the first Périgord truffles are mature.
Chinese Truffle (Tuber Indicum)
The chinese truffle - we rather call them "
Sechuan-Truffle", is extremely similar in external aspects to the Périgord truffle. It is very elastic (actually bouncing on the floor if dropped) and its grain is more rough. Further, as this truffle type has nearly no odor at all it is very difficult to distinguish it from Périgord truffles, especially as it adopts the aroma of them for a short time. Unfortunately, there are people who uses this know-how to deliberately sell them to the price of Périgord-Truffles (10 times more expensive) - effectively putting some of them in a lot with black truffles.
Bitumen Truffle (Tuber Mesentericum)
Because of its intensive and displeasing odor we like to call it also "
Asphalt Truffle". Only its skin recalls some resemblance to the Périgord truffle.
Large-spur truffle (Tuber Macrosporum)
The main characteristic of the tuber macrosporum is its extraordinary rough grain and the strong garlic odor - sometimes similar to the one of the alba truffle