A member of the family Tuberaceae in the class of ascomycetes is he Brumale Tuber, shortly brumale- a species of edible truffle. This hypogeous mushroom also lives in symbiosis with a tree (oak, linden, hazel, pine ...). It is therefore mycorrhizal, which means that it needs a host tree. It is also saprophyte, because in order to survive it needs organic matter of decaying plants.
One can easily confuse the Brumale with Melanosporum as they are quite similar. The Brumale is the only truffle classified among the noble black truffles so close to the Tuber melanosporum.
The skin of the brumale has small flat and thick warts, its peridium is dark brown to blackish. Initially blackish, it becomes reddish in the process of ripening. When mature, it becomes very sensitive to touch as if fragile. Then it can be easily parted –this feature can help to differentiate the Brumale from Melanosporum, which does not detach so easily.
The size of this truffle varies from 2 to 9 cm , i.e from the size of a walnut and rarely that of a tangerine, but at average it does not exceed that of an egg. Its shape is rounded and bumpy.
Inner appearance and aroma
Its flesh is pale, from a black to blackish gray . It contains thick, spaced white and grey veins.
Its aroma is not quite intense but extremely pleasant and lingering. One could taste some bitterness with a hint of undergrowth.
The Brumale shares the same areas of distribution as Melanosporum, living in symbiosis with the same oaks . The similarity continues in the time of their harvesting.
Its power of reproduction is superior to Melanosporum and it colonizes its production areas. Its mature period in the south of France is from December to March.
A standard for fresh truffles (Tuber melanosporum and Tuber brumale) was drawn up in 2006 resulting from an interprofessional agreement and aimed at improvement and higher quality of the offer. The truffles offered for sale must be whole, without breaking. They must have the specific aroma and color of their species. They must be clean and brushed, free from destructive insects and decay. The final requirement concerns its weight- it must be more than 5 grams.
Whatever the species, a truffle must suit the one of the following three categories to meet the standard:
• Extra Class-the class of top quality truffles, larger than or equal to 20 grams;
• Category I-the class of good quality truffles , larger than or equal to 10 grams;with minor defects;
• Category II includes all other truffles, bigger than or equal to 5 grams.