There are about 100 types of truffles in nature, but only 9 of these are edible. They come in two main varieties, white and black. White truffles are the most prestigious, coming out in the winter between October and December. They are harder to find, have a stronger scent and an enveloping aroma. Black truffles too come out in December, as those from Norcia, but there’s also the summer version known as “scorzone” (Tuber Aestivum Vittadini). Black summer truffles are more plentiful and can be found in a wider range of places. They are less prestigious but still a unique and inexpensive culinary treat. Make sure you are never sold a black truffle as if it were a white though, it would be a strong rip off: white truffles go for around €1000 per kilo (depending on the year) while black ones are much cheaper at €120-€180 per kilo, so it’s really important you know the difference. You can’t be mistaken: white truffles have a very irregular shape with a brownish, earthy exterior color while black ones are black and rough. And then comes the scent. Once you’ve experienced the scent of a white truffle you will never forget it.
But let’s not undermine black truffles, they are an incredible delicacy! Just as white ones, they are very delicate and you don’t want to cook them since you would loose most of the flavor. The classic way to savour them are indeed the most satisfying: simply over a scrambled egg, on a plate of fresh pasta or perhaps over a steak. Just shave it over the top with a truffle shaver.