Buying a fresh truffle can be kind of scary, especially for first-timers. The price tag is imposing and the shelf life is brief…or so you’d think. We’re here today to help with tips and tricks for making the most of a fresh truffle purchase, and getting the most truffle-scented bang for your buck. And of course, we highly recommend you consider these beauties, available for purchase on our site.
Good things to know about fresh truffles:
Truffles continue to emit their aroma following harvest. Meaning, the longer they are exposed to air, the quicker their aroma fades away. Be careful with unnecessary air exposure! Wrap that truffle up and keep the scent safe.
Where does the aroma go? Truffle aroma vaporizes and disappears. It can also seep into surrounding absorbent items, such as rice or eggs, if it’s left long enough. This is how purposeful preservers incorporate true truffle aroma into their oils, creams and other products. Fun side tidbit: it’s an expensive egg dish, but scrambled eggs taste mighty nice when made from eggs that hung out around a truffle…
Storing fresh truffles largely depends on how long you want to keep them. Ask yourself: do you want to store this truffle for a short amount of time – meaning 1-3 weeks – or do you want to stretch the truffle out for long term use?
In all honesty, using it as quickly as possible is your best course of action. Truffles were meant to be consumed fresh and, like a car once it drives off the lot, the aroma starts s-l-o-w-l-y fading away once the truffle is exposed to air. Be like a little kid who can’t wait to tear into a new toy, if you can with your new truffle.
But if you can’t…you can’t. It’s cool. You have options.
Short Term Storage If you’re looking to savor your fresh truffle for 1-3 weeks, then your best bet is to chill it, carefully, in the fridge. Make sure that its clean and dry—dirt plays no role in conserving freshness and flavor. Fill a container with dry rice and keep your truffle submerged in the rice. Yes-this is just like the theory for how to save an iPhone that’s been dunked in water, but it’s also emulating the natural underground habitat of a fresh truffle, which keeps them from drying out. Start by pouring a thick layer of rice into the container. Place your clean truffles inside, set them a few centimeters apart from each other, and then pour more rice until your truffles are abundantly covered up. Seal the container and store it in a cool, dry, dark spot in your fridge.
We’ll reiterate: Rice absorbs moisture. Moisture is bad for a truffle, as it is bad for a cell phone. Storing your truffle in dry rice = no moisture! Do make sure to still check the truffle daily and make sure that it’s staying dry on all sides. You can trust the rice, but better safe than sorry.
Bonus: you’re going to end up with some lovely truffle-scented rice at the end of this storage plan. Risotto, anyone?
Long Term Storage If you’re looking to preserve your fresh truffles for 1-3 months, get them freezing in the freezer. As freezing “kind of” works for bread, it “kind of” works for truffles. Again, you’ll want your truffles to be devoid of dirt, so start with thorough cleaning and drying. Once done, wrap each truffle up and store it in the freezer. Let’s be clear about freezing, though. You will not want to shave your truffle after it’s been frozen. The flavor will be there, and it’s still fine and good to cook with. But the aroma, that’s pretty much gone by this point. It’s sad, but true. If you have to do the frozen route, use the truffle for cooking, not for shaving.
What do you want to wrap the truffle in for the freezer? Tinfoil is one option; we recommend cryovacing it over anything, or using a plastic bag where you can squeeze as much air out as possible. Foil is good, but there’s a higher likelihood of trapping air in foil than there a plastic bag. We don’t wait air; air is not this truffles friend.
Other Options You can make your own truffle products, such as oils and butters, with your new precious truffle! Turn that escaping aroma into something positive by storing your truffle in oil or in an airtight container with some butter or (let’s get decadent) a few eggs. The aroma will waft into these products and make for sublime truffle-scented cooking in the future. Oh little truffle, how we love thee…