Early Season Truffle

Reference: 104

Condition: New product

Truffle begins ripening in early Winter. At the start of the season a lot of it fails to reach the degree of aroma and flavour reached in the peak truffle season.
This truffle can still be used in simple dishes such as eggs and truffle butter.

They smell & taste alright, but lack the intensity of peak season truffle. Those familiar with truffles, will sniff twice and wonder what's missing.

More info

It is looking to be an Early start to truffle Season 2021
21st May we have good colour, some aroma starting, and a few even with a bit of flavour

Availability date for this truffle will be 5th or 12th of June... if Economy Breaker Lockdown permits it, {once we regard early truffles as reaching a point where they are worth eating.}

Farm Gate sales preferred rather than post.
We do not wish anyone to be disappointed opening a truffle parcel from us, and can advise proper use in person. There will be limited supply/hunts for these as there's more urgent work to be completed prior to main season.

Storing

An early season truffle is already lacking in strength of aroma and flavour. It should be used within a few days.  

Using

Some traditional uses of early truffles are truffle butter or french style scrambled egg and are a welcome start to the season for those of us unwilling to wait extra weeks. These dishes provide the correct elements to extract the most flavour from the early season truffles.
These truffles are not recommended for any lengthy infusions or dishes that require a better quality truffle to work properly.


Recognising an early/partially ripe truffle. {pics later}

Beside reduced strength, the aroma will likely be earthy and sweet. It will have the warm honey top notes and some of the deeper aroma's. Like a single chord strummed on a guitar, you can clearly distinguish the small number of notes, whereas fully ripe is comparable to the entire song.

Early season truffle also has the correct amount of firmness/give and can't be used to distinguish it from fully ripe. Whereas under-ripe truffle is still quite hard to the touch.

When cut, it should still cut normally rather than shatter like under-ripe truffle. The colour will likely be lighter, but at least a dark brown, due to incomplete ripening of the black spores, and it may even be a little uneven throughout.

Why offer this grade?

In past seasons we have increasingly received requests for truffle throughout May/June, as it is often sold elsewhere there is an expectation that we will also have truffle at this time. We then later encounter people that were disappointed with the early truffles that they sourced with high expectations, some to the point of not wanting to try truffle again.
It's easy to proclaim it's not worth as much as full season truffle, and that you need to use it appropriately. But it's a worthless comment unless it is actually offered for sale as cheaper truffle, along with information on the proper methods to use it. In person sales helps ensure the expectations and usage are correctly matched.
ie. don't buy early season truffle (from anywhere) and expect it to be perfect.

Available Supply

We locate this truffle during survey's of the ripening truffle progress before the main season.  Supply quantities will be limited relative to the full season.

  • We will not be harvesting under-ripe truffles to meet demand, or extend our sales season, they will remain in ground to continue ripening. 
  • The distinction is an early truffle is at it's peak, but not great, whereas an under-ripe truffle simply needs more time.