The summer truffle is not very well known because, among other reasons, its economic value is less than that of the black truffle. Nonetheless, it is broadly present throughout Spain and although less valuable, it still commands a considerable price, oscillating between 30 and 100 euros on average.
In appearance, the summer truffle is very similar to the black truffle although the lumps of the peridium are more pronounced. The interior of the truffle has lighter tones.
It has the advantage, furthermore, of being able to grow where the black truffle doesn’t, given that it can tolerate a broader range of environmental conditions (pH, rainfall, etc.).
The summer truffle, in contrast to the black truffle, is lighter in tone on the inside, and equally black on the outside, with large pyramidal lumps.
It establishes a symbiotic mycorrhizal relationship with the species it associates with, which are primarily holm oak, Portuguese oak, kermes oak and the hazelnut tree.
The type of habitat in which the summer truffle grows is similar to that of the black truffle, a Mediterranean climate with marked seasonality and summer storms. It is, however, less demanding than the black truffle in terms of edaphological parameters (pH, carbonates, etc.) and hydric needs (400-1500mm). It can appear in dry zones, in soils whose pH can oscillate between 7 and 8.5. For this reason, its distribution, both at present and potentially, on the Iberian Peninsula is much wider than that of the black truffle.
Although knowledge about this truffle is scarce, basically the same guidelines concerning the black truffle are followed, given their similarities.
The first 2 or 3 years focus on aiding the seedling’s rooting by providing water if rainfall is not sufficient, and in combating weeds to avoid competition.
After this period, the care will depend on the characteristics of the terrain. The work will include pruning, tilling or cutting back weeds, irrigation or simply not doing anything, according to the situation.
It is commonly known as the summer truffle because it is primarily harvested during this season, between May and August. Some truffles, however, can be found outside this period, in spring or winter according to the zone, which seems to indicate that the cycle of this truffle is different from that of the black truffle.
It is found buried at less depth than the black truffle and sometimes mounds are visible because it can raise the soil or even emerge on the surface. A trained dog, however, is key for extracting it.
The burgundy truffle is also included as a variety of summer truffle, although according to some authors it is considered to be a distinct species, called Tuber uncinatum. This truffle has a more northerly distribution and reaches northward to Scandinavia and eastward to Turkey. It is more highly valued than the summer truffle and is the truffle with the broadest geographical distribution. It is associated with a wide range of forest trees: oaks, beeches, hazelnut trees, hornbeams, pines, lime trees, cedar trees, etc. On the Iberian Peninsula, it is primarily found associated with Scots pine, black pine and some oaks, located in cooler, more humid zones than the summer truffle.
Rainy summers help it to appear and it is gathered from August until November.
Its cultivation can be carried out with the same cultivation procedures as the black truffle and one can reasonably expect better production than with the black truffle.