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Unveiling the Truffle Grading Process: The Journey from Hunt to Classification.


grafic on the grading and classification of truffles
Grading and classification of truffles

In this truffle blog post, we help you go get ready for the upcoming truffle season with a dive into the glorious world of truffle grading and classifying! We'll be your guides as we unveil the secrets behind our quest for only the crème de la crème of truffles to grace our market stall. Strap in for a tantalizing tale of sniffing, digging, and discerning the finest truffle for your table.


Imagine the scene: it's our weekly truffle hunt, starring yours truly and Leesa, along with the fabulous Luna, and the ever-charming Frank: The Fish River Truffle, truffle-sniffing quartet. Leesa takes the lead with Frank, while Luna enjoys the view from the car – age has its perks! Frank's nose leads the way, with Leesa marking each truffle find like a seasoned cartographer. Meanwhile, I'm on digging duty, carefully inspecting each gem for that telltale sign of quality before sealing them up with a flourish and noting the tree they came from like a proud parent. Yep, we know the tree from which every truffle was born.


With the hunt wrapped up and the dogs rewarded with playtime, it's onto the main event: truffle grading.


Truffle grading is where the magic happens – or should we say, where the dirt gets scrubbed away! Leesa works her cleaning magic, wielding a toothbrush and a sharp eye to ensure each truffle is up to snuff. From rooting out the riffraff to trimming away imperfections, no truffle escapes her discerning gaze. Once cleaned up and looking sharp, it's decision time: which truffles make the cut for market, and which ones are destined for our personal stash?


But wait, there's more – it's time for truffle classing!


Classifying truffles is like playing detective, only with a lot more sniffing and a lot fewer magnifying glasses. We follow the United Nations Standard on truffles, because when it comes to standards, we don't truffle around! Check out our handy table below for the lowdown on what makes a top-notch truffle. Unfortunately, the standards are very quiet on what makes a truffle aroma glorious. Don’t worry, for a deeper dive into aroma, follow the links to some of our previous posts below.

 

In brief, this is where things get interesting. Each truffle is a culinary snowflake, with its own unique scent waiting to be paired with the perfect dish. It's like a delicious game of matchmaking which you can win at with the right knowledge and practice. What a journey, so complex and it’s just around the corner, again!


 

Weight

Shape

Cuts

Firmness

Skin

Gleba (flesh)

Aroma

Comment

Extra grade

Minimum 20 grams

They must have a rounded shape, more or less regular and lobed

Farmer’s cut only.

All truffles must be firm and weighty in the hand

Perfect skin

Black flesh and white veins.

The standards are silent on aroma other than they should smell like a truffle.

Unless you need to impress leave these for the Chef

First grade

Minimum 10 grams

Can be slightly irregular in shape. Must be able to see the entire truffle surface.

Can have a single cut usually no larger than 10% of the truffle surface.

All truffles must be firm and weighty in the hand

Free from pests and pest, frost moisture damage. Can have slight superficial bruising.

May have slight defects in flesh colour. (This may indicate it is not ripe or rotten)

The standards are silent on aroma other than that they should smell like a truffle.

There is nothing wrong with a lovely first grade truffle, spoil yourself.

Second grade

Minimum 5 grams

Can be irregular shape and have folds on the surface which prevent all the truffle skin being seen.

Can have large cuts.

All truffles must be firm and weighty in the hand

Free from pests and pest, frost, moisture damage. Can have superficial bruising.

May have defects in flesh colour. (This may indicate it is not ripe or is rotten)

The standards are silent on aroma other than that they should smell like a truffle.

This is the bargain box. There is no reason a second grade can not have better aroma than the extra grade. Remember its all about aroma.


So, there you have it – from hunt to harvest to grading and classing, our truffle journey is as wild and wonderful as the truffles themselves. If you liked this post please do share it with your fellow truffle enthusiasts, and if you've got any truffle stories or questions, we're all ears. Until next time, happy truffling, friends!

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