Once thought to
have been created by the striking of lightning on tree trunks, truffles
actually develop in symbiosis with the roots of Poplar, Lime and Oak trees.
Resembling knotted tubers, there three main varieties: the White Truffle,
the Black Truffle and the Black Summer Truffle.
In San Giovanni d'Asso, This year's 'White
Truffle of the Crete Senesi' exposition at is being held the 9th and
10th, and 16th and 17th November. San Giovanni d'Asso was the first area
in the county of Siena to inaugurate the festival 'un tartufo per la pace'
(a truffle for peace) and each year a leading figure is offered the best
example truffle as a symbol of world peace. In the past, Clinton and Gorbachov
have been offered the year's best truffle. In this way, the truffle has
become an ambassador for the territory, and not simply for its gastronomic
The characteristic colour, taste and fragrance of the
truffle are determined by the species of tree with which they grow. Oak
tree truffles are darker in colour and have a richer smell while truffles
found on the roots of Lime trees are paler and more aromatic. The white
truffle is held to be the best variety, the 'King of Truffles'. It is
found throughout the foothills of the Appenines, including the Crete Senesi
region in the county of Siena. The form of the truffle depends on the
type of terrain in which it grows. In loam soils truffles are more smoothly
formed. In clay soils the lack of space in which to develop gives the
truffle a more gnarled texture