The Italian White truffle is easy to distinguish. It is roughly rounded with a smooth-textured suede-like surface. It is not white in color, rather yellow to brown, with brown spotting increasing as it matures. It has a translucent, grey flesh marbled with thin, white to light hazel veins. Italian White truffles release penetrating aromas of garlic, spices, musk and cheese when fully mature. The aroma that historically defines Italian White truffles is due to the hormone, androstenol, which evolved in truffles to lure in animals to detect it and eat it.
High temperatures can destroy the volatile components that make up the aroma and flavor of White truffles. Hence, they should only be served fresh. Use Italian White truffles as a finishing element to a dish, thinly shaved over pastas, cooked eggs, pureed soups and risottos. Italian White truffles pair well with lobster, crab, leeks, garlic, fresh soft cheeses and aged hard cheeses, cream, chicken, potatoes, winter squashes, light-bodied vinegars and herbs such as tarragon, basil and chervil. Truffles will keep, dry and tightly wrapped or stored in rice, for about a week. The best flavored truffle should be consumed within a few days of purchase.