Just received a shipment of T. texense, the pecan truffle, from Georgia.
Fungus is relatively hard (for a truffle) with reddish-brown to brick-red
brown peridium, no warts visible, large venae externae patches, peridium
sometimes cracking, exposing lighter buff to grayish-brown interior;
sprores visible under 30x. Odor intriguing: to my nose a combination of
fresh green corn and fresh whole milk, on 9/20/2000, two days after being
harvested. Package received in zip-lock bag with soggy paper towel
enclosed and visible water droplets inside the bag, most truffles exuding
water vapor/water, and most truffles slick to the touch. (While this does
not necessarily harm the truffle, it can, in my opinion, reduce their
shelf-life/storage life, so will be immediately drying the truffles
before passing them along to Chef Greg Higgins for culinary
The pecan truffle is known from nearly anywhere pecans are grown. The
production reported by Dr. Tim Brenneman of the University of Georgia,
Dept. of Plant Pathology, Tifton, GA 31793 would indicate it is
relatively abundant (4 people collected "over 20 lbs." in 3.5 hours, or
about 1.5 pounds per man-hour of labor. Many were found partially exposed
(epigeous). Most of the specimens sent me were were hazel-nut to walnut
sized or larger, with some specimens (received last year) several inches
in diameter. Some specimens have indications of animal predation,
possibly squirrel, chipmunk or mouse (another indication of maturity,
since animal mycophagy generally does not occur with immature truffles,
in my experience).
It is our opinion these truffles may have culinary importance, and may be
common enough in other stands of pecans for other orchardists to be
looking for them.
T. texense has been reported from Texas to Georgia, from Florida north at
least to Ohio, and possibly into Canada.
Additional information on range, fruiting times, size, and recipes are
requested. I would be interested hearing of other reports of this truffle
in the U.S.
Please note: These truffles are _NOT_ for sale at the website below. They
are still in the developmental stages for recipes/marketing/production.
However, free samples may be sent (serious chefs only, please) by
contacting Dr. Tim Brenneman at the address above.
I believe (just brainstorming here) that the truffle would go well with
corn in a chowder; potential fondue use; sliced over fresh-cooked poultry
or fish with a roue; sliced thin on hors d'oeuvres for garnish; and
perhaps in a thin bechamel sauce on fresh-baked potatoes. Until more
experiments are done with the truffle, I would try to stay away from
excessive heat, and add thin-sliced truffles to most dishes just before
Daniel B. Wheeler
Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.