Tuber macrosporum, first described by Italian mycologist Carlo Vittadini in 1831, is relatively new to the science of truffles. It is a species of edible mushrooms in Tuberaceae family. It is called the smooth black truffle, due to its appearance.
These truffles are generally spherical ,rarely regular in shape,but often lobed. Their size is from 0.5 to 2 cm (0.2 to 0.8 inches) in diameter (not commonly bigger than 5 cm) . The skin color varies from reddish brown to rust or blackish. The warts of 0.5-2 mm on the fruit skin are low and flattened. That is why the truffle looks relatively smooth. The meshes are polygonal, not standard in form and size, 3-5 (6) µm high, 4-10 µm long; 6-10 wide spores.
Ascospores: 42-85 x 30-42 (-42) µm without the ornament, size different depending on number of spores in the ascus, Q range = 1,40-2,08, ellipsoid;initially light yellow, brown-reddish and non-translucent after ripening; laced with a small meshed reticulum.
The truffle pulp is purplish brown to grey-brown covered with delicate white veins.
The flesh tends to go black at maturity, and white, meandering veins become wider.
Peridium:150-300 µm thick, containing thickly located, interwoven hyphae with solid walls, brown- reddish in the external layers and yellowish in the internal layers.
Aroma and taste
The aroma is intense, pleasant,and the taste- garlicky and exceptional, resembling Tuber magnatum (the Italian white truffle). Gastronomically magnificent! It is the choice of true gourmands to be grated or sliced over pasta, bruschetta, risotto, polenta etc.
The habitat of Tuber macrosporum is the same as Tuber magnatum: central Italy and all over Europe. Tuber macrosporum prefers limestone and sometimes clay soils .
Its host plants include hazel, linden ,poplars, willows and oaks.
Did you know?
The first description of this species was probably Tuber cibarium subcinereum alliaceum Bulliard (1791), Histoire Champignons France 74