Mushrooms are ratbags; no meat and no fish. No plant, vegetable or fruit. Mushrooms are different. They belong biologically to the Fungi, in other words the group of fungus and molds. A group of organism that has no chlorophyll. With over 100.000 known species. Not able to produce their own necessary nutrients. Live from organic material they get out of other living or dead organism.
A mushroom is the visual part of an extensive underground network of wires; the mycelium. In fact, a mushroom is the reproductive organ of this mycelium; the fruiting body.
On, or in, this fruiting body the spores are shaped. Male and female. When the spores find a suitable spot (in most cases by the wind), they germinate and form a new fungal thread. When a male and female thread have a ‘date’, a new mycelium arises below the surface. From this, new mushrooms will grow.
Wild mushrooms are stubborn creatures. Come and go whenever they feel like it. And that strongly influences on the continuity of supply. It depends (also within the high seasons) of a great number of factors that determine the size and moments of the supply. Drought, frost, temperature, the content of moisture in air and soil. Even climatically conditions the year before can be of substantial influence on the following harvest period.
But, once they popup, they can come massively. Mother Nature rules the seasons and the agenda. Decides where and when our little miracles may see the daylight.
Certain wild mushrooms you’ll find less in nature. Some species are even disappeared. Often people think that’s due to the way of picking them. That's nevertheless a small reason. It seems that the mayor treats are changes in the ecosystems. Drought, changes in temperature, acid rain and the disappearing of certain tree’s, fertilizer, etc.
Professional pickers leave a sufficient number of mushrooms in order to reproduce in the future. They ‘pick’ in general by using a sharp knife. Júst above the surface. In order to keep the mycelium in shape. Some species, like ceps, are carefully loosened out off the surface. When we should cut them with a knife, the retarded piece of the foot, will rot and also the mycelium below the surface.
Divergent soils, climates and periodical influences give divergent tastes per mushroom species. Or even the missing of specific flavorings. The first morels in February from Turkey have a different taste and structure than the morels from the Pyrene Mountains in March. A girolle from Canada (the ‘big brother’ from it's European family member) has less distinct and authentic ‘chanterelle’ taste and flavor.
Truffles are underground mushrooms. What is special is, among other things, that the Truffle detaches from its mycelium after two weeks and develops (ripens) in six to nine months, and feeds itself independently, via the bumps on the outside. In addition, there are many other indispensable elements, such as the type of soil, the climatic conditions during the period of development, the tree species with which it lives in symbiosis and numerous other circumstances that are still a mystery to us.
There is a lot to say about Truffles. The main thing is that the unique aroma and taste are of great gastronomic value. And that can vary considerably per species and per season. There are about a hundred subterranean mushrooms worldwide that bear the name "Truffle". Only a limited number of them receive culinary attention and are commercialized.
In the past, Truffles were sought with pigs, but a sow weighing 250 kilograms is difficult to control. That is why nowadays people mainly work with dogs who, unlike the pigs, have to learn how to search. Luigi trains his own dogs. It takes about 4 years before they are ready to work for il capo with great pleasure and effectively.
But then you also get something in return . . .
In addition to the following, we also carry the Autumn or Bourondische Truffle (Tuber uncinatum) and the Honey Truffle (not a member of the Tuber family) in our range.
More information about periods, flavors, price indications can be found on this website under Product> Truffles.
All black Truffles are often difficult to distinguish from each other visually; Black Truffles have a black color when they have been cleaned of soil after good brushing. And that color alone is not enough to distinguish between a 'cheap' Chinese Truffle (Tuber indicum), a Winter Truffle (Tuber brumale) and the king of black Truffles, the Black or Périgord Truffle (Tuber melanosporum).
The scaly pyramid-shaped shell (the peridium) also makes a difference; with the Black Truffle, this casing is firmly wrapped around and attached to the pulp. The peredium comes off easily with the less tasty Winter Truffle.
The pulp (or gleba) of the Black Truffle is black-purple when the Truffle is ripe and marbled with a network of thin white veins. In the Winter Truffle these veins stand out more and are less numerous.
However, the difference with the Chinese Truffle is smaller. Although the pulp is more elastic and the taste less pronounced, this can only be observed after purchase.