Hungarian truffle

Truffles in Hungary are mentioned first by a story around 1540, where the Trencsén judge orders the preservation of a truffle yielding beech forest. In the cookbooks of the 1700s and 1800s we can find several truffle dish recipies, which were taken over even by the French cookbooks as well!

During these centuries Truffle was the European mansions' requested delicacy, harvested by the so called truffle-hunters who belong to the mansions staff. Truffle became increasingly more popular in the blooming economy of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. The Hungarian truffle wholesalers carried tons of truffle on their cart to the Vienna market. In the first place the so called 'white truffle' (Choiromyces meandriformis).

The socialist social-political system following the World War two leaded to the mutilation of the gastronomy in Hungary, wiped the truffle out from the common knowledge once for all. The technical literature knows one single man, Szemere László a 73 years old jurist, who started studying the subterranean mushrooms.

His researches were followed by editing some technical books, but all those could be published only in German language , like other studies of him. Towards the end of his life he finally managed to create plantations as well, but the social-political system did not make him possible to pass his knowledge on.

In the years following the social-political system transformation the interest toward truffle slowly revived, more and more people started to harvest truffle by pleasure. First groups were the circle of friends but then the First Hungarian Truffle Assiciation was born as well. Next step was to borrow Italian truffle specialize dogs and learn dog-searching as well.

Today already the most distinguished master cookers — World and European champion cookers — join the association in order to get involved to the history of truffle by using the technical literature of the past centuries.

Based on a decennial work we can say that the following types are typical in the Carpatian Basin.

The two most important truffle classes are the summer truffle (T. aestivum) and the white truffle (Choiromyces meandriformis). Important kinds are furthermore the autumn variety of the summer truffle (T. uncinatum) and the characteristic fragrance variety (T. mesentericum).

One of the important variants of the summer truffle is the coumarin fragrance truffle of the siccating soil plain oak groves or on the Eastern Transylvania we can find delicate and flat peridium truffle. Among black truffles the big spore truffle (T. macrosporum) is important which grows rather in the well water supplied forests, providing an excellent, stable fragrance; or the winter truffle (T. brumale), the one that grows mainly in the southern part of the country .

The arenicolous truffle (Terfezia terfezioies) grows in the Hungarian acacia forests. The Istria truffle ( T. magnatum) can be found in the so called gallery forests running among rivers standing under a submediterranean micro-climate effect.

In the Hungarian gastronomy we use diversely the various kinds: for lettuces and for soups the Hungarian master cookers like the white truffle; for roasts and fish they use the black truffle; the most important ones are the winter and the big spore truffle. For sweets till now we discovered the arenicolous and the red truffle (Melanogaster).

The aim of the qualified professionals dealing with the truffle is that the Hungarian truffle art became known again by Europe and all around the world getting back the old rank and reputation.