Preserving fresh truffles

The preservation of fresh truffles

Black truffles, white truffles, Burgundy truffles or summer truffles, it is always a shame to lose some of your fresh truffles due to bad conservation. All species of truffles are subject to "desiccation". Fresh truffles lose the equivalent of 5% of their weight in water every day, a phenomenon that accelerates in case of bad conservation. Moreover, it is imperative to wash your hands before handling your truffles to avoid any bacteriological development, as the truffle is made up of water it can turn into an explosion off bacteria. The truffle being an expensive product whose price varies and can reach up to 6000€ per kilo for the white truffle, it is necessary to be able to preserve your truffles in the best conditions to avoid bad experiences.

In this article, discover all our advice on the short and long-term conservation of your fresh truffles. To begin with, you must differentiate between fresh cleaned truffles and fresh hollowed truffles, as the two states of the truffle will imply differences in the way you preserve your truffles.

THE CONSERVATION OF CLEANED AND NOTCHED TRUFFLES

As a reminder, Maison Truffes Henras 1820 only sells cleaned truffles to consumers because cleaning is an inherent part of our selection process of truffles from the best vintages, in order to guarantee its customers truffles that correspond to our criteria of quality and flavour. You will receive your truffles vacuum-packed and wrapped in absorbent paper. When receiving them, it is strongly recommended that you remove the truffles from the packaging and follow the instructions below.

In the case of truffles purchased cleaned, precautions must be taken to be able to keep them for about a week. It is recommended to wrap each truffle in absorbent paper, which will be changed regularly (once a day). Then, the truffles are delicately stored in a glass jar that can be hermetically sealed, or in any other hermetically sealed boxes that will be placed in a cool place, between 2°C and 4°C, such as the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. This is the most widespread method of conservation and guarantees the best results for a quick consumption of your truffles. The absorbent paper can be replaced by rice inside the hermetically sealed box, however, contrary to popular belief, this method will not allow you to flavour the rice enough to make a truffle risotto.

Little tip, if you put eggs in the same box for 48 hours, they will take the smell and taste of the truffle.

A Melanosporum truffle, in order to keep all its aroma, should be consumed in the days following its purchase. Be careful because a fresh truffle quickly loses its perfume and taste qualities.

THE CONSERVATION OF HOLLOWED TRUFFLES

Fresh truffles that have just been hollowed out can be kept a little longer than cleaned truffles, up to 10 days in the refrigerator (in absorbent paper) without being cleaned. You can also place them in an airtight food-safe plastic box. The fresh hollowed truffles can be brushed gently under water to remove dirt, you can also soak them on receipt to remove more easily their earthy envelope. It is important to brush them just before cooking them.

Be careful, however, because this method of purchase can reserve you more expensive surprises than the loss of your badly preserved truffles (poor quality truffles, other varieties of lesser quality, worms or already rotten truffles).

What makes the value of Tuber Melanosporum is above all its seasonality and for this reason nothing is better than tasting it fresh in winter. Taste it at room temperature, plain and cut into thin slices to better highlight it and appreciate its aroma.

FREEZING FOR LONG TERM CONSERVATION

If you want to keep your truffles longer, it is best to freeze them. To freeze truffles and prevent them from becoming soft when consumed, place them unwashed, vacuum packed in the freezer and grate them frozen in the preparation on the day of consumption.

Those who have a lot of truffles or who wish to keep them after the harvest closes can freeze them. To do so, they can be placed whole in a jar and stored in the freezer. Another technique is to cut them into thin strips and freeze them on a tray. Once they have set, they can be placed in a freezer bag. Frozen truffles keep their flavours and qualities perfectly for 6 months. These methods are not optimal because both will alter the quality of your truffles in taste and texture.

The optimal preservation method can only be carried out by a professional equipped with a freezing cell. The technique consists of exposing the truffles to temperatures ranging from - 30°C to - 50°C so that the core temperature of the truffle reaches -18°C. The water contained in the truffles will crystallize into fine crystals which will limit the cellular destruction of the product and thus preserve the truffle, its freshness, texture and flavours.

Wrapped in baking paper, they can be kept in the freezer for about 6 months, whole or cut into thin strips.

You can also cut them into small pieces of about 10 grams and place them in the freezer for 24 hours. The next day you just have to fry the frozen truffles in warm melted butter before putting everything back in the freezer. The truffles are then enclosed in a shell of butter that will keep their flavour.

TRUFFLE CANNING, AN ART RESERVED FOR PROFESSIONALS

It was Maison Henras that was the first to apply the technique of canning, invented by Nicolas Appert in 1795. The truffles were then preserved in special bottles with wide necks, sealed with wax. At the end of the 19th century, the tin can replaced the glass and the first tinned products appeared.

Nowadays, this technique allows chefs to use truffles all year-round while preserving their precious flavours.

The truffle will keep some of its flavours and moreover, it can be prepared in different ways before being put in jars: breakings, peeled, in pieces or whole. During this transformation, a truffle loses on average 25% of its weight, but this loss is found in the form of juice in our jars: the truffle juice, very rich in flavors. Be careful when using this method, it does not apply to the white truffle! It is important to know that this mushroom does not tolerate high temperatures and therefore, home canning. This preservation process makes it lose most part of its taste.

At Maison Truffes Henras we make first and second boiling truffle cans. The first boiling is the ultimate in canned truffles and is often intended for professionals in the catering industry. However, we have specially developed a first boiling range of product for our customers so that they can enjoy this quality product as well. We offer it for whole truffles, truffles in pieces and truffle peels.

Our second boiling cans include our breakings and truffle juice non diluted with water 100% the Tuber Melanosporum.

The technical processes involved in boiling require professional equipment and cannot be carried out by a private individual. Our experts have succeeded in developing the best recipes in order to offer a stable product with a beautiful aromatic bouquet, certainly different from fresh truffles but just as interesting to use in cooking and usable all year round.

We couldn't end this article without telling you about the preconceived ideas about conservation.

  • The conservation in alcohol is to be proscribed for private individuals. Some butchers still use it however, it dilutes the flavors of truffles in alcohol which will leave you only a slight aromatic bouquet when tasting your truffles.
  • The conservation in oil must also be prohibited because the oil does not preserve, it will like alcohol dilute the flavors of the truffle and even cause development of bacteria by enclosing the water contained by the truffles. Dehydration will cause the loss of all the water contain in the truffle which contains a large part of its flavors, you will then have only the "mushroom" taste of the tuber.
  • Finally freeze-drying, which is a kind of dehydration by cold, poses more or less the same problems as dehydration.

If you have other questions about your fresh truffles, do not hesitate to follow us on Instagram and Facebook and send us your questions, we will be happy to answer you.

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Preserving fresh truffles

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In this article, discover all our advice on the short and long term conservation of your fresh truffles. To begin with, you must differentiate between fresh cleaned truffles and fresh hollowed truffles, as the two states of the truffle will imply differences in the way you preserve your truffles. 

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