How to Store Truffles (And Other Truffle FAQs)23 Feb 2015, by Truffle Faves in
Ah, truffle questions—I get plenty of them. Most of the time, it all starts with “Why so expensive?” Well, let me tell you: truffles were once a delicacy worshipped by royalty for their healing purposes. For years, the common population was never given the opportunity to buy or taste even a single truffle due to its rarity and cost. Today, much like the highly sought-after beluga caviar or diamonds, truffles are worshiped like prizes from Mother Earth—hunters wait each year to see what growth has to offer (so they may harvest) and what weather conditions to expect (as they highly affect the price).
I’ve been asked all other sorts of truffle questions, too. To give you a refresher, here’s a quick list of what we’ve covered so far:
- What are truffles?
- What are the differences between black and white truffles?
- What do truffles smell like?
- Do truffles have aphrodisiac properties?
- If I want to hunt for truffles, where do I begin?
Not too long ago, I was asked another truffle question—one that I’ve been seeing asked around a lot: How do you store your fresh truffles? Being the truffle addict that I am, I was pretty ecstatic to provide answers—and here I am, even more ecstatic to share them with you.
How to Store Truffles
When it comes to storing truffles, there are two important things to note:
- Truffles continue to emit their aroma following harvest – by which, I just mean: the longer they are exposed to air, the quicker their aroma is exhausted.
- Where does the aroma go? Either it vaporizes and disappears or it seeps into surrounding absorbent items like rice or eggs.
Ideally, truffles should be used or sold the same day because they’re best eaten fresh. However, storing them is doable, too—and when done right, they may just last longer than you had originally planned!
Storing fresh truffles largely depends on how long you want to keep them. Ask yourself:
Do I want to store them short-term? If you’re looking to savor your fresh truffles for 3-4 weeks, then your best bet is to chill them in the fridge. Start by cleaning and drying them—trust me, the dirt plays zero role in conserving freshness and flavor! From there, wrap each truffle in a paper towel, put them inside an airtight container like mason glass jars, and place it in the coldest spot of the fridge. Important note: moisture is the worst enemy, so I suggest changing the paper towel regularly.
Do I want to store them long-term? Now if you’re looking to preserve your fresh truffles from 6-10 months, get them freezing in the freezer! Again, you want your truffles to be devoid of dirt, so start with thorough cleaning and drying. Once done, wrap each truffle in metal foil, put them inside a ziplock bag, and store it in the freezer. Important note: storing truffles as per will keep them longer but the aroma will continue to decline.
Truffles with Rice?
To preserve the aroma of truffles, I highly recommend adding uncooked rice grains to the container. By doing so, you’re basically emulating their natural underground habitat—with the rice grains, keeping the truffles from drying out. Start by pouring a thick layer of rice into the container. Place your clean truffles inside, set them a few centimetres 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.
Now I personally use arborio rice; but, really, any rice variety is suitable for preserving truffles. And what’s interesting is they can be cooked as a separate dish later on! Used arborio rice of Italy, too? Cook risotto! Bomba rice of Spain? Dish up some paella! Camargue rice of France? 2 words: Mediterranean pilaf! Bottomline is: truffle-infused rice makes a magnificent base for these dishes, so make good use of it!
The key to storing fresh truffles is doing day-to-day monitoring—and I say day-to-day because changes in quality are bound to happen every day! Are the truffles beginning to soften? Then they’re reaching their highest ripening point. Are they growing mould? Wipe or wet lightly to remove, as you would a block of cheese that grows mould. Are they showing signs of sweating? Then they can no longer be consumed. You don’t want such culinary gems to go to waste now, do you?
Check out the infographic below for more detailed instructions on how to store fresh truffles. And if you want to read more about truffles, then feel free to browse through my previous blog posts, or check out some truffle recipes and get cooking to experience them yourself! Happy reading and eating!