When Chef Alex Seidel, of Fruition and Mercantile Dining and Provisions, thinks about truffles he remembers travelling to Alba Italy for the truffle festival. The peddlers sold truffles like jewelers sell diamonds in Antwerp or New York. This is the season for the black French winter truffle - probably the most popular; the white Italian truffle (the most aromatic and intense); and the Black Oregon Truffle that rivals the French at a more pleasant price tag. Great chefs call the truffle the diamond of the kitchen and no cook has really matured until he or she tries them in one fashion or another.
Alba White Truffle. Considered the best truffle by most people, the white Alba from Italy is extremely pungent and undeniably flavorful. They are the subject of lore and the fall treat, beyond all treats. Well worth the price tag.
Black Burgundy Truffle. These french black truffles are likely the best of the black truffles. It is another Fall treat similar in appearance to the black winter truffle but with a more delicate flavor and best enjoyed raw over a prepared dish like pasta, eggs, rice or mashed potatoes.
Honey Truffle. Celebrated for its use in ice creams, sorbets, cakes and other desserts, the sweet-as-sugar honey truffle is one of the most unusual truffles in the world. Found primarily under black locust trees which grow in the rich, sandy soils along the Danube River in Hungary, the pale, grayish-white honey truffle is as delicious as it is unique.The flavor of this unusual truffle is unique. It begins with a very pleasant, mild mushroomy flavor on the tongue, but then develops into a long, lingering honey-sweet finish. Use sparingly - a little of this amazing truffle goes a long way.
Perigord Black Winter Truffle. The dark black Perigord truffle (Tuber Melanosporum) is considered by chefs and gourmands the world over to be the finest black truffle available, making them one of the best gourmet foods in the world. Perigords can be distinguished from other European black truffle varieties by their interior appearance - white veins running through black flesh. They are intensely aromatic with superb depth of flavor.
Oregon Black Truffle. These truffles are less appreciated and undervalued domestic truffles that have incredible aroma and taste that rival European truffles, at a fraction of the price.
Imported Black Summer Truffle.The Imported Black Summer truffle's fruiting body has a rough alligator skin-like surface covered with small diamond-shaped projections, molded by stones surrounding it in the soil. When mature, the Italian Black Summer truffle is near black on the surface with a pale grey flesh and white marbling that does not change color when exposed to air. It has a rich woodsy aroma with flavors of garlic, wild mushroom and earthy hazelnut undertones.
Oregon White Truffles. Oregon White Truffles (Tuber gibbosum and oregonense) are rather different from European White truffles. Both are members of the same scientific genus, tuber, but after that, the similarity ends. Oregon White truffles are often said to have aromas of butter and fresh-roasted hazelnuts with fruity, herbal notes - and maybe a little bit of garlic.
Smooth Black Truffle. Tuber Macrosporum, commonly known as the Smooth Black Truffle, is comparable in nose to the fresh white truffle, with a distinctive, pungent taste.