Black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) photo and description

Black truffle (Tuber melanosporum)

  • Department: Ascomycota (Ascomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Pezizomycotina (Pesizomycotins)
  • Class: Pezizomycetes (Pecicomycetes)
  • Subclass: Pezizomycetidae (Pecicomycetes)
  • Order: Pezizales
  • Family: Tuberaceae (Truffle)
  • Genus: Tuber (Truffle)
  • Species: Tuber melanosporum (Black Truffle)

Other names:

  • Truffle black french
  • Perigord truffle (derived from the historical region of Perigord in France)
  • Truffle real black French

Truffle black

Black truffle (Latin Tuber melanosporum or Tuber nigrum ) is a mushroom of the Truffle genus (Latin Tuber) of the Truffle family (Latin Tuberaceae).

There are about thirty varieties of truffles, only eight of which are culinary interesting. The most exquisite is the Perigord black truffle Tuber melanosporum... Despite the direct indication of the place of residence in the name, this species is widespread not only in Perigord, but also in the southeastern part of France, as well as Italy and Spain. For a long time it was believed that truffles are nothing more than growths on the roots of trees, but in fact they are mushrooms of the marsupial class, which have two characteristic features. Firstly, the truffle grows underground at a depth of 5-30 centimeters, which makes it difficult to find. And secondly, this mushroom can live only in scarce calcareous soil and exclusively in alliance with trees, moreover, in choosing a “life partner”, the truffle is extremely picky and prefers to cooperate mainly with oak and hazel. The plant provides the mushroom with the necessary nutrients, and the mycelium literally envelops the roots of the tree and thereby improves their ability to absorb mineral salts and water,and also protects against various diseases. At the same time, all other vegetation around the tree dies, the so-called "witch circle" is formed, which indicates that the territory belongs to mushrooms.

Nobody saw how they grow. Even those who collect them from generation to generation. Because the whole life of a truffle passes underground and is completely dependent on trees or shrubs, the roots of which become the real breadwinners of these mushrooms, sharing carbohydrate reserves with them. True, it would be unfair to call truffles freeloaders. The web of fungal mycelium filaments, enveloping the roots of the host plant, helps it obtain additional moisture and, in addition, protects against all kinds of microbial diseases, such as phytophthora.

Black truffle is a dark, almost black tuber; his meat is at first light, then darkens (to a purple-black color with white veins).

The fruit body is underground, tuberous, round or irregular in shape, 3-9 cm in diameter. The surface is reddish-brown, later to a coal-black color, when pressed, it turns into a rusty color. Covered with numerous small irregularities with 4-6 edges.

The pulp is firm, initially light, gray or pinkish-brown with a white or reddish marble pattern on the cut, darkens with age from spores and becomes from dark brown to black-violet, the veins in it remain. It has a very strong characteristic aroma and a pleasant taste with a bitter tinge.

Spore powder, dark brown, spores 35 × 25 μm, fusiform or oval, curved.

Mycorrhizal forming agent with oak, less often with other deciduous trees. It grows in deciduous forests with calcareous soil at a depth of several centimeters to half a meter. Most common in France, central Italy and Spain. In France, finds of black truffles are known in all regions, but the main places of growth are in the south-west of the country (departments of Dordogne, Lot, Gironde), another place of growth is in the south-east department of Vaucluse.

Tuber melanosporum

Cultivated in the PRC.

The strong smell of black truffle attracts wild pigs, which dig up fruiting bodies and spread spores. The larvae of the red fly develop in truffles, adult insects often swarm above the ground, this can be used to search for fruit bodies.

Season: early December to March 15th, usually harvested in the first months of the year.

Black truffles are traditionally harvested with the help of trained pigs, but since these animals destroy forest soil, dogs have also been trained for this purpose.

For gourmets, the strong aroma of these mushrooms is of primary value. Some note the forest dampness and a slight trace of alcohol in the smell of black truffles, others - a shade of chocolate.

Black truffles are easier to find - their mycelium destroys most of the vegetation around. Therefore, the place where black truffles grow is easier to find by the totality of signs.