Though not as famous as its larger cousin, the legendary White Alba Truffle, the Bianchetto truffle (aka tuber borchii, Italian spring white truffle, Tuscany white truffle) offers a similar flavor. To describe this flavor to someone who hasn't experienced an Italian white truffle before is difficult at best, however, this truffle is often referred to as sharp, earthy, garlicky and/or cheesy.
Since wild truffle prices are based on supply (always limited) versus demand, an enormous benefit of Bianchetto's relatively unknown status is that they're available at a much more affordable price. Bianchetti truffle season generally follows the end of white Alba season too, so if you missed Albas, don't despair...you're probably just in time for the Bianchetto's!
Bianchetto truffles tend to be significantly smaller than white Albas, generally growing to about 15 grams in weight (roughly the size of quail eggs). Because their outer skin is darker than Albas (generally brown to dark orange), they are also known as "whitish truffles."
Bianchetto truffles are unique in the wild truffle world because they can be any of a wide variety of colors: brown, orange, tan, black or anything in between. Thus, color is not a good indicator of freshness. Instead, look for a firm texture and a strong truffle aroma.
When figuring out how many ounces of fresh European truffles to buy, we usually recommend a serving size of 10 grams of fresh truffle per dish per person.
See How to Store Fresh Truffles (also includes long-term preservation suggestions).
shelf life 7-10 days
Tip: Bianchetti truffles can be used as you would white Alba truffles in a host of recipes.
White truffles are usually very thinly sliced so their potent flavor can be distributed throughout a dish. While the traditional tool of choice for this is an actual truffle slicer, in a pinch you can also use a sharp knife or a mandoline.
Delicately shaving spring white truffles over hot white truffle risotto, polenta with pot roast, egg dishes and pasta dishes, elevates them to stratospheric heights. Bianchetti truffles match beautifully with butter, cheese (especially parmigiano reggiano), chicken, veal and lobster. Try making this white truffle aioli recipe as a condiment for the world's most exclusive sandwich or burger.
Many truffle purists insist that spring white truffles should only be used raw as a final touch to a dish, as their flavor is very heat sensitive. The warmth of freshly cooked food will awaken their aroma and complex taste, but actually cooking them can destroy what makes them special.