Toska Truffles delivers your fresh truffles pre-cleaned and pruned to allow for same-day use. Our cleaning process helps extend the life shelf of your truffles, and it assures that you are receiving the highest quality fresh truffles in the market. Like other perishable items, fresh truffles require care to minimize their aging process and help keep them at their peak. Extra attention should always be given tokeeping the truffle clean and surface moisture levelat a minimum helping slow down the natural dehydration of the truffle. Caring for fresh truffles can be broken down to 3 core duties which if done correctly will maximize the use of your fresh truffles.
1. Shaping Your Truffles – be gentle but firm
Natural truffles grow in the dirt and often take on the shape of their growing medium. These flexible growth patterns often can create indentations within the truffle where dirt is harder to remove or unwanted moisture can remain. All of the indentations should be regularly inspected for mold growth and scrubbed clean when mold is discovered. A fresh truffle’s skin is not as fragile as it’s aroma, and can tolerate a rapid, medium-strength scrubbing with a toothbrush or similar tool without causing it damage.
Fresh truffles may require pruning and/or shaping as part of the tuber’s natural life-cycle. Dehydration, too much moisture, or improper storage can create pockets of unusable product that may affect the rest of the product or other truffles that are being stored with it. Small sections should be removed when advanced ripening or excessive surface mold is discovered. This second duty of truffle maintenance is often performed at the same time steps are taken to remove excess moisture from the fresh truffle’s environment.
2. Keeping Moisture Balanced
Moisture control will always be the largest portion of your truffle maintenance plan and this core taskrequires consistency on your part. Mold “hot-spots” on your fresh truffles are the result of a natural ripening process of fresh truffles. These pockets are a result of extra moisture and can be counteracted by selecting a proper absorbent material to wrap your fresh truffles in.An absorbent medium should be selected based on its ability to wick away the excess moisture without sticking to the tubers skin or exposed inner fruit. Simple paper towels are the most common medium used as they are inexpensive and thus can be changed regularly to maintain an optimal moisture level. Your paper towel wrapping should be replaced every 2nd day to help leech away an extreme moistness the ripening truffle can create. Selecting the wrong medium or exchanging your absorbent material too often, can result in a prematurely dehydrated tuber as well as experiencing a quicker loss of fresh truffle aroma.
3. Storing Fresh Truffles Properly
Choosing the right storage container for your fresh truffles is equally important to maintaining a proper moisture level. Your storage container should be large enough to hold your truffles wrapped in an absorbent material without forcing multiple truffles to crowd each other. The wrong container can mean a severely shortened life-cycle for your fresh truffle products.Glass jars and plastic containers are the preferred method of storage because of their ability to keep damaging oxygen away from the tubers. This same protection also serves to contain your fresh truffle’s aroma which is what you are really experiencing as “flavor” when eating truffle products. Finally, these containers allow for your absorbent material to be easily interchanged while providing a window into your fresh truffle’s life-cycle stage.Plastic bags and similar storage mediums should not be used to store fresh truffles. The plastic bag material will rest against your tubers, causing premature ripening when in contact with the bags’ exterior. Plastic bags also cause additional internal moisture as the fresh truffle naturally loses some of its internal base.
The proper storage of fresh truffles is all about maintaining a cooler temperature while controlling the humidity level they are exposed to. Walk-in coolers located in most commercial kitchens are the ideal place to store your fresh truffles because these refrigeration units maintain a low temperature monitoring and maintaining consistent humidity. The home chef can still achieve equal success as long as their fresh truffles are sealed in a proper storage container and maintained at a lower temperature closer to the bottom of the refrigerator.
Fresh truffles add wonderful flavor to food when sliced or grated on top of your favorite dish or by imparting their essence when storing them with other food. Truffles ripen similar to other fresh produce as they continue their life-cycle, shrinking in size as they lose moisture and their pungent aroma over time. While properly caring for fresh truffles can increase the life of your truffle, you can maximize the use of fresh truffles by flavoring other food with its aroma.Different foods readily absorb truffle aroma but can also decrease a fresh truffle’s life-cycle as it absorbs its aroma and moisture as well. These storage methods should only be used when you specifically want to flavor other food with truffle aroma.
Storing Truffles with Rice – a fresh truffle placed in a container with quality rice is the perfect way to add extra flavor to a risotto dish. The truffle’s aroma will permeate the rice and allow its unique taste to come through once cooked. Using your fresh truffles for this experience should be a decision based on other uses you are considering for the same tuber. Rice is known to leech the moisture and flavor from fresh truffles and in turn shortening its life cycle.
Storing Truffles with Eggs – a raw egg’s shell is permeable to other flavors and a perfect medium to share fresh truffle aroma with. Fresh truffles stored with eggs for a couple of days adds their aroma to each yolk that can be enjoyed through your favorite preparation. Storing truffles with eggs also helps keep air circulating around your tubers while keeping extra moisture to a minimum.
Storing Truffles with Oil – Light olive oil, sunflower, or grapeseed oil can be used to make your own truffle oil at home. Fresh truffles slowly impart their flavor on the oil, providing you real truffle flavor versus the imitation flavor offered through most retail stores. Stronger tasting oil can be created by heating the oil and adding fresh truffle shavings to increase the surface area exposed to your oil.