Truffles are underground mushrooms, mycelial mass consisting of a fruit: said “carpophore” and a network of filaments called “hyphae” that live in mutual symbiosis “mycorrhiza” with the higher plant which absorbs carbohydrates (as they cannot be produced independently due to lack of photosynthesis) returning minerals to the plants not otherwise differentiated itself by increasing the capacity of the root explorer.
Known since the time of the Sumerians (1700 1600 BC), the Greeks thought they were produced by the combination of lightning with earth and water, and called them “ydnon” from which “idnologia” the science that studies the truffles. The Latin name of “tuber” is used instead to define the genre. Pliny the Elder considered them “maximum miracle of nature” and placed them among those things that “are born but you can not sow”.
Truffles are the pride of those areas that can boast their presence including the band close to the Sibillini mountains and mainly in Montefalcone Apennin have important productions of the most prized species of truffle, which is now the added value of the typical related to the eno-gastronomy.
In nature there are different species of truffles, but according Italian law only 9 can be harvested and marketed during the periods specified:
- Tuber magnatum Pico – White Truffle (October 1-December 31)
- Tuber borchii – white truffle or marzuolo (January 15-April 30)
- Tuber macrosporum Vitt – smooth black truffle (October 1-December 31)
- Tuber malanosporum Vitt – Black Truffle (1 December to 15 March)
- Truber aestivum Vitt summer truffle or scorzone (May 1 to August 31 and October 1 to December 31)
- Black winter truffle Tuber brumale Vitt (January 1-March 15)
- Tuber brumale var moschatum De Ferri Truffle Moscato (January 1, 15 March)
- Ordinary black truffle Tuber mesentericum Vitt (1 October to 31 January)
THE CULTIVATION OF THE TRUFFLE
The cultivation of the truffle is based on the symbiotic relationship between plant and truffle that was realized in early 1800 by a small French farmer (Joseph Talon) who, having sown acorns to reforest his land, put together a few years later under the oaks a considerable quantity of truffles, much to abandon other traditional cultures, to engage in such cultivation.
With this idea has gone on up until fairly recently that scientific research and experimentation is designed primarily for the maintenance and development of the mycelium of the organism “truffle” in order to obtain fruiting.
These treatments, different for each place where they are practiced, have been changes and developments over time to create several schools of thought with the establishment of true methods such as: Pallier (meticulous care both to the tree and to the ground ), the Tanguy (abandonment of cultural treatments after the entry into production), which developed in France have also represented Italy in the main guidelines of the truffle growers, and finally the method Angellozzi referred to an expert grower that in the Piceno, experimenting years with knowledge of the facts, ended up becoming a point of reference, both in our country and in France itself.
This method of culture, which is reflected also in Montefalcone has become a true Montefalcone system by which, working in groups, in different situations, and exchanging information on the results, we have achieved very successful production that does not seem to occur nowhere else.