Costlier than gold: the Périgord truffle of France and the white Alba truffle of the Piedmont, in Italy. Photos by Kelly Cline | IST.
KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.
Updated November 2009
Truffles: An Overview & Glossary
Page 9: Other Truffle Terms
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Truffle Glossary: Other Truffle Terms
Gleba or Glebe. The flesh, or interior, of the truffle. It is textured and often veined.
Peridio. The textured coating over the skin of black truffles, providing the diamond or warty appearance. White truffles do not have a peridio.
Photo by Dimiter Tzankov | SXC.
Tartufo. The Italian word for truffle. The ice cream dessert of the same name is a ball of vanilla ice cream, often with a cherry and nuts in the center, enrobed in chocolate. The first chocolate ganache tartufos, candy, were created just after the French revolution by French chefs and intended to resemble the precious Périgord truffles. The ice cream version appeared around the Victorian era, when the molding of ice cream into flowers, fruits, and other shapes became popular.
Trufficulteur. A cultivator of truffle oaks (or other trees). In France, there are about 20,000 or so trufficulteurs, mostly farmers who do so for extra revenue.
Truffle Cheese. Most often imported from Italy, where it is typically made from a blend of cow’s milk and sheep’s milk or cow’s milk and goat’s milk, truffle cheese is speckled with slivers of black or white truffle.
Photo: One of our favorite truffle cheeses, Boschetto al Tartufo Bianchetto, available at iGourmet.
Truffle Butter. Truffle butter is made by mixing pieces of truffle and truffle oil with unsalted butter. It is available with black or white truffles. Read our review of D’Artagnan Truffle Butter, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.
Truffle Oil. A condiment oil used on eggs, risotto, meat and fish. See more about truffle oil on the next page. It cannot be heated, or the truffle essence will evaporate.
Truffle Paste. A rich flavorful paste made from actual pieces that fall off of Périgord or Alba truffles (check the label); you’ll pay $45 for a tiny, 25g tube. The paste has the strong flavor and aroma of the great truffles, and is a less expensive way to add truffle flavor to dishes throughout the year. The paste needs to be added to sauces and other dishes after they have been taken off the heat, just prior to serving; heat dissipates the flavor and aroma.
Truffle Peelings. The shaved outer layer of the whole truffle. Sold in jars, they are a good substitute when truffles are out of season and far less expensive.
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