A Trinity of Truffles

8 NOV 2023

No one ever forgets their first encounter with a truffle — its tantalising earthy and umami aroma promising an unforgettable culinary adventure.


These mysterious morsels have captivated chefs and gourmands for centuries. Amongst the truffle’s illustrious family, three members stand out — the elusive white truffle, the robust black winter truffle, and the gentle black summer truffle.

A truffle's unmistakable aroma and flavour has captivated gourmands the world over

The white truffle is the rarest of them all. Nearly impossible to cultivate, it’s harvested from September to January in Europe. With a heady scent and garlicky flavour, its virtue lies in its simplicity—the less you do to the white truffle, the more it shines. Mere wisps of freshly shaved white truffle on a simple bowl of buttery pasta are enough to steal the spotlight.


The black winter truffle is harvested from December to March. Although milder and earthier than the white truffle, the black winter truffle is robust enough to stand up to bolder flavours, making it a cherished companion to a hearty risotto or a rich meat dish. When paired with a bold red wine, like a Chianti, the experience is nothing short of sublime.


As the soil begins to warm in June, the black summer truffle makes a quiet entrance. Its subtle, nutty flavour is a whisper compared to the white truffle’s shout. The most common of the three, the black summer truffle is versatile, lending itself well to a variety of dishes. It’s a delightful addition to a summer salad, a light pasta dish, or fresh bruschetta, adding a hint of earthy flavour to every bite.


The value of these truffles transcends their weight in gold. Their rarity, the skill required to hunt them, contribute to their high market value. Truffle season in Europe sparks numerous activities throughout the region: truffle fairs, truffle hunts, and shops filled with fresh and preserved fungi combined in various products — sauces, oils, salt, and butter, among others. At COMO, you can experience the best of them, at our hotels, restaurants and more.

Hunt for truffles at COMO Castello del Nero, hidden deep in the woods of the estate.

Hunt for them in Tuscany


At COMO Castello del Nero — COMO Hotels and Resorts’ 12th-century castle in Tuscany — professional guide Mattia and his two Lagotto Romagnolo dogs will take guests truffle-hunting on the Estate’s ancient woodland. You hike through the cypresses, ashes and elms, looking for the most likely spots among the roots and leaf mould, until the dogs pick up a scent and begin to rummage for what the Tuscans call ‘diamonds of nature’.


It’s a fascinating insight into a centuries’-old tradition, with Mattia explaining how the truffle seasons work: the seasons produce different types of truffles: white in winter, and black in summer. You will learn about the history, how the experienced tartufaio, or truffle-hunter, used to rely on pigs rather than dogs to root out the truffles with their keen sense of smell, until they grew tired of the pigs too often eating their prize. You can also enjoy the fruits of your labour with a special four-course truffle lunch or dinner prepared by Executive Chef Giovanni Luca Di Pirro, whose well-loved black truffle specialties include home-made taglioni with a simple butter sauce, and the rich beef tagliata with spinach. You can book your truffle experience at COMO Castello del Nero here.

Taste them in Singapore


Savour the rarest of them all — the highly-prized white Alba truffle — with Culina at COMO Dempsey's Wild About Truffle specials. Enjoy them with specially-prepared dishes that allow these aromatic morsels to shine, or choose to have them shaved atop any dish of your choosing.


Culina also offers these white Alba truffles, ranging from 30 to 100 grams in size, along with a treasure trove of high-quality truffle products — something to add to your home kitchen for special occasions and gatherings.


When using truffle oil, remember that less is more—a small drizzle can enhance a dish without overpowering it. Truffle salt adds an earthy depth to roasted vegetables or grilled meats and can be used sparingly as a finishing touch. For an indulgent treat, try incorporating a rich truffle sauce into pasta dishes or risottos — just a spoonful is enough to impart that unmistakable aroma and luxurious flavour.


The COMO wine pairing


Pairing truffle dishes with wine is about choosing one that can stand up to a truffle's power but not steal its thunder. Depending on winter, summer, white or black, there’s a complexity to decipher.


Wine Manager Ken Goh highlights bottles that make for great company when the white Alba truffle is in attendance. An aged chardonnay, Pierre Ferraud & Fils La Dynastie des Ferraud Pouilly-Fuisse 2015, exhibits well-balanced oak flavours to pair with the egg and cheese dishes. Poggio Alle Gazze 2021, a sauvignon blanc blend, has honeyed, earthy flavours and good acidity to balance a creamy fettuccine. Alba truffles, considered the truffle gold standard, are traditionally paired with wines from the same region in Piedmont: a Bava Barolo 2017 or Bava Barbaresco 2017, with a juicy fillet of beef and shaved truffle that balance their tannic heft.


Shop Culina at COMO Dempsey's truffle offerings online for your next gathering or reserve a table to try their Wild About Truffle specials.

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