Truffles are a highly aromatic, yet subtly flavored variety of wild fungus that adds distinction to a wide range of savory dishes. The Périgord region of France is the source of what are considered the finest black truffles. Fresh truffles are available in late autumn and winter; they are also sold in jars and cans, whole or in pieces. Select firm, plump fresh mushrooms that are not slimy or bruised. Store unwashed and lightly wrapped in paper towels or in a paper bag, never in plastic, in the refrigerator. Peel black truffles before using.
To clean fresh truffles:
Remove the grit by wiping with a damp paper towel or mushroom brush. For a more thorough cleaning, swish the truffles very briefly in water, then pat dry with paper towels.For other mushroom varieties, see button, chanterelle, Chinese black, cremini, cultivated, oyster, porcini, portobello, shiitake, straw, and tree ear mushrooms.