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My husband will bring home some fresh white truffles from Italy. I never had truffles in my kitchen and I don't know how to store them. Any advice?

Subquestion suggested by casperOne: It would be interesting to hear answers both about long-term storage in the kitchen and storage options for transporting them on a long flight.

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"Migrated from stackoverflow.com", now that's a banner I never thought I'd see here. @casperOne, awesome. –  derobert Dec 5 '12 at 16:49
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And the related SO meta question: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/157678/… –  Jefromi Dec 5 '12 at 17:42
    
How long are you wanting to store them for? This can make a difference in method of storage. –  Brendan Dec 5 '12 at 18:05
    
@derobert Same here, which is exactly why I did it. We thought it was spam, see here - meta.stackoverflow.com/a/157723/140951 –  casperOne Dec 5 '12 at 18:28
    
@rumtscho Would it be out of line to edit the question to indicate how to store them during transport, or would that affect the existing answer too much (if the husband is bringing them home from Italy, he should have a proper way to bring them as well). –  casperOne Dec 5 '12 at 18:30
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 5 '12 at 16:15

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3 Answers

One of the options listed here Truffle FAQ is to put the truffle in a paper bag in the fridge. I have no experience storing fresh truffles (only canned) so I can't swear to it as an option. I can say that the paper-bag-in-the-fridge method works very well for mushrooms. The link goes on to say that the writers of the site do not recommend storing the truffle in rice, that it dries out the truffle and sacrifices perfume to the rice. That's a bit disappointing as I would want to make risotto from the rice.

Originally, I posted the link as a kind of answer. I can't in good conscious do that because the answer on that site includes the possibility of storing the truffle in oil. The site does mention that such storage would be need to be short term only. It doesn't mention that the risk is botulism, nor does it say how long a truffle can be safely stored that way. As such, I cannot recommend the method, or, really, the site itself.

Another possibility mentioned by the suspect site is freezing the truffle in a jar. Hmmm. Mushrooms take a big hit in quality by freezing. If you really need long-term storage of a truffle, it seems to me that you aren't adequately excited by a very cool ingredient.

So, a paper bag in the fridge is my answer.

As far as transit, I would stuff the truffle and its paper bag into a jar, protecting the truffle from moisture loss and trauma.

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Your best bet is something that is airtight. If you're within reach of a vacuum packager, I think that putting a folded paper towel in the base of the bag and placing the truffles on top and sealing under a snug vacuum will keep them freshest the longest. Like any other fungus you don't want to expose them to much moisture. Don't wash them until your ready to use them.

http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/vegetables/truffle-glossary4.asp#storing

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This would store the truffles in anaerobic conditions, promoting botulism growth as @rumtscho pointed out in the answer I deleted, because the reference I found included storing the truffles under oil –  SAJ14SAJ Dec 5 '12 at 17:38
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I see nothing wrong with vacuum sealing them to keep them fresh. The original question states nothing about the length of time they need to be stored. If it's long term storage, vacuum packaging and then freezing is a recommended method. –  Brendan Dec 5 '12 at 18:03
    
The information in the link says that they will keep fresh for 2-3 days. While this may be true, my experience with black truffles is that you should eat them as soon as possible. I actually tried buying white truffles from a shop in Berlin once (I live in Sweden). This was on a Friday, and I told the woman behind the counter that I would not be able to eat them until Sunday evening, and could she please vacuum pack them for me. In the end she refused to sell me any, saying that it would be a waste unless I ate them on that same Friday evening. :) –  Henrik Söderlund Dec 6 '12 at 14:36
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You can store fresh truffles in a kitchen towel and close it in a glass jar. Here (http://www.truffle-shop.com/storing-truffles) I even read that you can store the truffle with rice or eggs. The perfume will penetrate the egg shell and later you can eat truffle scrambled eggs without putting truffles on :-)

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I can verify that the egg trick works. Haven't tried it with white truffles though, only the cheaper black variety. Presumably it works even better with white truffles since they are much stronger in flavour (supposedly). –  Henrik Söderlund Dec 6 '12 at 14:30
    
I've seen the dry rice method before, keeps them dry and protects them from getting crushed while keeping airflow. –  Emily Anne Dec 7 '12 at 17:24
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