The “bianchetto” truffle, scientific name TUBER BORCHII VITT. It is most wanted truffle upon a tradition in the regions of Tuscany, Romagna and Marche, despite the fact that has a lower market value than the white truffle. By the outside can be confused with Tuber Magnatum, because it originally presents the same features, irregular, smooth and of white color, but when it arrives to maturation, it becomes darker. Even the glebe, from initially being clear, becomes dark. The smell is the feature that distinguishes it from the white truffle, because, if in the beginning it is soft and pleasant, in a later time becomes garlicky and nauseous. It grows in calcareous soils, often in deciduous and coniferous woods. The collection period is from January to March.
Dimensions The average size of this truffle is rather small, such as a nut or a little bigger, but it can reach up to the size of a hen’s egg.
Variable, tending to round if the truffle has grown in sandy soils, sometimes irregular, with gibbous surface.
Smooth, light colored, varying from white-ocher to reddish.
Clear tending to tawny to brown, with white large veins and few in number.; the various shades of color are in relation to the degree of ripeness, the type of soil and the forest species with which it is united in symbiosis. In some specimens grown in symbiosis with the linden they are noticed within maculature whitish, thin and numerous, which anastomose with each other giving the glebe some marbling.
Particularly strong and pleasant to maturity: unmistakable and characteristic even if not easily definable.
Very tasty and unique. The firm scent, with garlic tones, and the strong and durable flavor, are rendering it a suitable condiment for various dishes, provided that, just like the white fine truffle, it is not left for prolonged cooking.
From late August-September to December-January, depending on the weather.
Marl and clay or marl and limestone, lives in depth variable, beginning the season on the surface after up to 30 cm deep.
It prefers cool areas along the waterways, in the woods or in the vicinity of plants, in the valley or hills.
It grows near or under willow, poplar, oak, linden.
In Italy it is located in Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Marche, Tuscany, Umbria, Abruzzo, Molise and Campania. In Slovenia it's located in the Istrian region.
How to recognize it: by the smooth peridium, by the light colors or reddish, by the small size, by the smell of garlic, by the late time of maturation which is winter-spring.