This is the prized black truffle found in the Norcia area. The “body” of the black truffle is of a size varying from a few grams upwards. Normally one finds small sizes, although medium-sized examples are not rare, whereas finding a large, roundish truffle is a real event.
Its peridium (the protective layer enclosing the spore-bearing organ) is blackish brown, with reddish veining in unripe examples, with the surface covered by not very marked pyramid-shaped warts with flat tops. The interior or glebe of the truffle is purplish black with very fine white veining. The prized Norcia black truffle has a pleasing and aromatic scent that becomes fully evident upon cooking. Its flavour is exquisite. It grows in the hilly and mountainous area, in sunny zones on land that is well drained, porous and lime-rich.
For symbiosis the black truffle prefers pedunculate oak trees, sessile oak trees, pubescent or downy oak trees, holly oak trees and hazelnut trees. The land on which these trees grow lacks grass vegetation because the mycelium limits its growth.
In the kitchen the prized black truffle is undoubtedly the leading player. Its properties are enhanced in all types of uses, both raw and heated. Its aromatic compounds are not heat-labile and therefore the truffle can be fully integrated in culinary preparations. Experts recommend those featuring extra virgin olive oil. With first courses (pasta, etc.) the intensity of its aroma can be heightened by creaming. Black truffles should be amalgamated in the dish and also used to make its presentation exciting. The dish can be decorated with pieces of truffle that has been julienne-cut (i.e. like matchsticks) or cut in extremely thin little slices.