The Truffle is a fungus with a maturing period of several months (not like the Cup Mushroom or the Saffron Milk Cup which only take some weeks), and is harvested from the beginning of December until March. Not only this period is subject to change, as there are many factors that can differ, but also the magic touch is always needed to complete the process perfectly. Like any other produce sourced from nature, there is a time when the fruit is completely ripened; for the Black Truffle you can perceive a much stronger flavour during January and February.
In France, the more traditional way of harvesting is using pigs; In Spain, this job is done equally well by trained dogs. Pigs are attracted by the flavour and like eating them, while dogs don’t.
The main producers of Black Truffles in the world are Spain, France and Italy.
With so many secrets surrounding the industry, it is very difficult to give an accurate number, but it’s estimated that 50% of the global production of Tuber Melanosporum (Perigord Black Truffle) comes from Spain. Given that Sarrion is the village that has the largest area of mycorrhizaed oak trees in the entire world, it’s not unrealistic to think that if someone uses 10 Perigord Truffles in the whole season, on average 5 come from Spain and 3 from France.
The relatively small domestic use suggests that almost all Spanish production ends up in exterior markets. This fact only underlines the excellent quality compared with French and Italian peers, who keep their very best and for many years have consumed those Spanish jewels without noticing it!
Don´t forget that fresh Truffles have to be used within 10 days of harvesting. You can decide to preserve them, but in any process you will reduce the original flavour or alter the texture. For that reason, if you really want the full experience we highly recommend using only fresh Truffles. Avoid cheaper or inferior alternatives, for example canned Truffles. You can sometimes find black Truffles but it is likely they are not Tuber Melanosporum, making the price much cheaper. The normal varieties you can find are Tuber Brumale or Tuber Aestium. We urge you to be careful with the variety you choose, and if it is not specified think twice before buying it. No retailer would give away a “black diamond” as a gift for no reason.
Currently in Asia there is another variety called Tuber Himalayensis which is physically almost identical to Tuber Melanosporum, but the sensations and flavour do not compare to the Authentic Sarrion Black Truffle. So please, just use Tuber Melanosporum and do not be tempted or disappointed by inferior products.
To sum up, consuming Sarrion Black Truffles helps to promote ecology and the sustainable development of the towns that have made the choice to thrive in such a natural way. At the same time fewer dealers are involved, bringing the customer a reduced price, and not only producing lower CO and CO2 emissions, but also providing the added benefit of getting the Truffle faster to your plate and extending its shelf life.