A truffles grade is determined by the subjective analysis of it's various physical characteristics, primarily its shape, size, ripeness, aroma and level of defects. This is achieved through the careful analysis of the following:
The Peridium is the dark, warty outer layer of a truffle, a truffles protective skin. The Peridium protects the truffle from all the environmental stresses that it needs to overcome whilst developing underground. The more damaged a truffles Peridium, the lower it will be graded.
The Gleba is the interior part of a truffle, exposed during the harvesting process via a "farmers cut". The colour and condition of the Gleba is a primary indicator of the truffles level of ripeness, and provides other indicators as to the truffles quality like whether the truffle has been water logged during it's growth cycle, has interior rot or other interior damage.
A good quality truffle will have a distinct clean 'truffle' aroma and not contain any off-notes of mould or rot. A black truffle contains over 60 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's), the proportions of which can vary between individual truffles, level of ripeness, the characteristics of the soil it was grown in and the stage of the season. The overall quality of a truffles aroma influences its grade.
A truffles shape is an important aspect of truffle grading. The more spherical a truffle, the higher its grade, and likewise, the more folds, indentations and crevices it contains, the lower it will be graded.
Truffle grade is determined by the subjective analysis of several physical aspects of the truffle, primarily its size, shape, ripeness, aroma and severity of defects
Our Grading Process
We follow stringent grading protocols guided by an aligned with accepted EU and global truffle grading standards. Our truffles are offered in four grades....Extra grade, First grade, Second grade and Pieces/Smalls.
Extra Grade (The perfect truffle)
An extra grade truffle will be above 20g in weight, have an ideal spherical shape, a peridium free of defects and a black Gleba criss-crossed with clearly defined white veins. It's aroma will not contain any off-notes of rot, mould or other uncharacteristic aromas.
First Grade (A very high quality truffle )
A first class truffle will be above 20g in weight, have a pleasing shape, with some indentations and folds, a peridium with limited defects, and a black gleba criss-crossed with clearly defined white veins. Its aroma will not contain any off-notes of rot, mould or other uncharacteristic aromas.
Second Grade (A quality truffle with physical defects)
A Second grade truffle will be above 20g in weight, will have a convoluted shape with indentations, crevices and folds. It's peridium could contain defects from insect damage or other causes. It's Gleba will be black and criss-crossed with white veins. It's aroma will not contain any off-notes of rot, mould or other uncharacteristic aromas.
Truffle Pieces / Smalls (Quality off-cuts from the grading process)
Truffle pieces / smalls are offcuts of varying shapes and sizes from the grading process, as well as whole truffles under 20g in weight. The pieces will still have some peridium attached, and will have a black Gleba with criss-crossed white veins. They will not have any off-notes of rot, mould or other uncharacteristic aromas.
Our truffles are shipped weekly using carefully selected express cold-chain freight and specialised thermo packaging to ensure that they arrive in perfect condition
Packing & Shipping
Although a truffle will keep for a few weeks if stored correctly, they are their best when used as fresh as possible. Once harvested, a truffle naturally transpires, up to 2% of its weight daily, resulting in a loss of aroma and pungency over time. For this reason, we harvest and ship our truffles weekly to order, thereby limiting any unwarranted out of ground storage.
Once harvested, our truffles are carefully cleaned and graded before being packed into specially selected thermo packaging, and shipped direct to customers via a selection of cold-freight and courier companies. We utilise natural fibre packaging over plastic, as it allows the truffles to transpire without the build up of moisture, which can lead to the rapid development of mould. We will not ship our truffles to any destination unless we are confident that they will be delivered timorously and in excellent condition. This might therefore unfortunately exclude us shipping to outlying areas or remote destinations.
We ship weekly, generally on either a Monday or Tuesday, and expect our truffles to be at destination within 12 - 48hrs. For longer duration shipments, we utilise the services of specialised cold-freight couriers, and package the shipment in specially designed thermo-packaging designed to maintain temperatures for up to 100 hours.