What are truffles?
The truffle is a highly prized food and wanted for its unique penetrating and persistent flavor, that develops only after maturation. In the nature, this scent has the purpose to attract wild animals (the pig, the wild boar, the badger, the dormice, the fox) which, despite the soil coverage, allow them to spread the contained spores and to perpetuate the species.
To the Tuber genre belong different species of hypogenous fungi (who commit their life cycle underground), commonly known as truffles, they belong to the Tuberaceae family, the class of Ascomycetes. They grow in a natural way in the soil next to the roots of certain trees or shrubs, especially oaks, holm oak, with which establish a symbiotic relationship.
Commonly, for truffle is accepted only the fructiferous hypogenous body, which is identified with the aid of dogs and it is hand-picked. They are formed by an outer wall, called peridium, which has a smooth aspect, light-colored or dark, and an internal mass, the glebe, ranging in color from white to brown, gray, pink or black, crossed by veins more or less extensive and ramified, that delimitate from the alveoli, in which are absorbed many large cells (asci) that contain the spores.
The morphological features of the peridium, glebe, the asci and the spores, added to the size and to the organoleptic features, allow the identification of the species of truffle.