Truffle from Molise

Truffles from Molise

These treasures grow in the foothills of the Maltese, a mountain range that extends across the whole region and is characterized by a natural and mainly uncontaminated environment.

Italian truffles

Piedmont, Umbria and Tuscany are the most named regions when people talk about Italian truffle. However, only a few know that Molise is actually one of the largest national producers, particularly of the white truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico). Around 40% of Italy’s white truffles come from this little region. A large percentage of black truffle (Tuber Aestivum Vitt. and Tuber Brumale Vitt.) is found in Molise, especially in the province of Isernia, near San Pietro Avellana, Carovilli, Capracotto and Agnone, as well as in the province of Campobasso, near Bojano.

A significant fact and a possible explanation why this territory represents an ideal habitat for the proliferation of this fine fungus. Truffle hunters have been constantly active in Molise since the ‘70s, but it has not been acknowledged yet as a designation of origin. That is why the white truffle from Molise is often confound with the Alba truffle.

 

The varieties: white truffle

This variety is one of the most famous and known truffles, it distinguishes itself by its aromatic and intense perfume, its white and slightly yellow peridium, a clear gleba that can vary based on the maturity and become hazelnut-coloured, rarely pink mottled. Every single plant produces truffles with its own characteristic colours: for example, truffles that grow near oaks have a hazelnut-coloured inside. Those growing near beeches have slightly red-coloured insides. The harvest extends from September until the end of December.

 

Where does white truffle grow?

The Tuber magnatum can grow even in soils with restricted chemical and physical conditions, preferring specific areas. In particular, soils containing all three particles – silty, sandy and clay. Even a small quantity of the organic substance present in these draining and soft soils guarantees a cohesion between the particles and confers the truffle a united and stable structure. At the same time, it maintains a great porosity and constitutes an excellent reserve for fertilizing elements.

The white truffle is basophil; it needs an alkaline soil and an important fraction of limestone. Most parts of the inland in Molise have these characteristics, where the fraction of limestone is sometimes higher than 9%. Furthermore, Molise is situated in the centre of Italy and is characterized by an intermediate climate, neither continental nor Mediterranean, ideal for the growth of the fungus.

 

The varieties of truffle

 

Black truffle

Less famous but after all delicious is the black summer truffle, also called scorzone. It adapts itself to different kind of climates and soils. The black truffle is more rustic than the famous white truffle; it has an intense forest smell and a defined taste, without being too intense. It grows from May until the end of August and the perfume evolves gradually becoming more intense as the time passes. Its peridium is rough and the inside is hazelnut coloured. 

The scorzone loves sandy soils that are rich of clay. It adapts to woody areas like the inlands as well as to areas near the cost. It covers a large range of heights, even around 1000 metres. The black truffle prefers to grow near downy oaks, holm oak, oaks, turkey oaks, hornbeams and common hazels.

 

Territory of Molise

Regarding the geological aspect, the territory of Molise is characterized by soils, which are mainly composed by clay and thanks to the mountain ranges like the Mainarde and the Maltese, they are also soft and mild. The inland hills consist mainly of woodlands full of downy and common oaks, in heights up to 1100-1200 metres, the ideal conditions for the growth of the black truffle.

The protected area by the WWF of the regional reserve Guardiaregia – Campochiaro, consists of holm oaks, hornbeams and turkey oaks. The black and white truffle look for nearly the same chemical and physical characteristics. In fact, these areas are ideal for the proliferation of both species.

 

How truffles from Molise are promoted

At San Pietro Avellana the black summer truffle along with the white truffle, are the stars of the annual festival. The commune is part of the national “City Of Truffle”, which aims to integrate the “search and harvest of truffle in Italy”, with its expertise and traditional activities, in the intangible heritages of the UNESCO.

This is only one initiative among many, which aims to promote and enhance this product, especially to raise nationally and internationally awareness of the truffle from our region, Molise.

Casa Sapori takes part of this initiative. We select only traditionally made truffle products from Molise. Our aim is to promote these fine products, that once tried you will hardly forget.

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