The various species of truffle

Le varie specie di tartufo

For the joy of gourmets, there is more than just one truffle. There are different types of this hypogean mushroom, characterised by different seasonality and distinctive sensory features. 

The truffle is a hypogean mushroom, which means that it does not grow above ground, but underground. Not all types of truffle are edible: there are six popular species on the market.

The different truffle species are determined primarily on the basis of morphological characters such as shape, size, colour, ornamentation of the peridium, appearance of the gleba, aroma and flavour.

The determination of the species in the laboratory is carried out using spore recognition or biomolecular analysis techniques. The science that studies truffles is known as hydnology.

The main species of truffle

There are six commonly marketed species of truffle:

  • Tuber Magnatum Pico (Alba or Acqualagna White Truffle or Prized White Truffle)
  • Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini (Norcia Black Truffle or Prized Black Truffle)
  • Tuber Aestivum Vittadini (Scorzone)
  • Tuber Borchii Vittadini (Bianchetto or Marzuolo)
  • Tuber Brumale Vittadini (Winter Truffle)
  • Tuber Macrosporum Vittadini (Smooth Black Truffle).

Le diverse specie di tartufo

(Information and Photographs by concession of the Centro Nazionale Studi Tartufo)