1.-It is one the fructification of a fungus. A fungus is not animal kingdom products nor vegetable ones, but from Fungi kingdom. It is an underground and symbiotic fungus which grows joined to tree roots
2.- The most important eatable types of truffle in Aragon are the tuber melanosporum (black winter truffle), the tuber aestivum (black summer truffle) and, to a lesser extent, the tuber uncinatum (Autumn truffle). In Europe there are more than 40 types of truffles
3.- Aragon is the largest world truffle producer. Aragon has a large number of wild truffles, but in addition, at the moment there are about 10,000 hectares planted with this fungus throughout Aragon.
At the moment, truffle farming is booming within our community, since it has a great annual growth in acreage, it is estimated that approximately 500 ha per year and we also know that there are more than 10,000 km2 suitable for the production of black truffle.
Let’s also say that almost 45% of the mycorrhizal plant nurseries in Spain are also in Aragon.
It is estimated that 11% of the total black truffle plantations in the world are located in Aragon, giving rise to a production of approximately 52 tons per year, which would represent 20% of the total global production.
The summer truffle is 100 wild % and it happens in more than half of the national territory.
4.- Truffle has to come to the kitchen, clean, dry, in cold, with its batch number and its traceability. As the rest of products we are eating.
5.- The way of preserving fresh truffle; it is inside an airtight container and rolled in paper to keep it dry, and in cold from 1 to 4 grades. The truffle can be frozen at -1 grade. In any case, a truffle will survive between 10 and 15 days. With ultrasound and ethanol treatment around 20 days. The summer truffle has a much lower breathing index than the winter truffle, that’s why it lasts longer time. Frozen, lyophilisate or dehydrated, it lasts more than one year.
6.- The truffle must be “worked” with cold and be never cooked at more than 60 degrees since, more or less, at 80 grades, it loses the whole aroma, although, of course, flavour remains. The summer truffle is less aromatic than winter one, but on cooking, it keeps more from its flavor.
7.- The truffle has to be used as a seasoning, not as food.
8.- The first descriptions of truffles are given in the 3rd century B.C by Teofrasto. Also they are mentioned by Plinio, the Talmud, or Dioscorides in the Ist century A.C.
9.- In France and in Italy, its consumption increased very much from the XVIth although, in Spain, thanks to the black legend existed about them, as the one by Galeno they were increasing the libido in women and the big contribution to truffle demonization made by Doctor Andres of Lagoons, there was no consumption until ends of last century. The politician Joaquín Costa following French policies, mentioned the possibility of truffle plantations, like way to avoid the deforestation and to improve the rural Aragonese way, but nobody minded.
10.- Napoleón, Lord Byron and Madame de Pompadur were great truffle lovers and they used them as inspiration in their lives and for his chores. Virginia Woolf, described in her story of the Duchess and the Jeweler, a beautiful text about how truffles were gathered.