Sicily is certainly known for its excellent fruit production, a little less for truffles. For this reason, FreshPlaza has decided to get to know a company that produces truffles located inland and, more precisely, in Barrafranca (Enna).
Calogero Giuseppe Zuccalà
The company is named "Tartufo Siciliano" and is managed by Gisella Asarese with the help of her husband Calogero Giuseppe Zuccalà, who is also the company's mycologist. The business covers 5 hectares and produces black truffles of the Tuber aestivum Vittadini (Scorzone) variety and white truffles of the Tuber borchi Vittadini variety. There is also a laboratory for the creation of spreads, pâtés and other truffle-based products. In addition, the company commercializes Sicilian wild truffles from the woods of central Sicily between October and December.
"Our truffles are harvested between January and June. We start with the white wines, and the black ones become available from April onwards. Then there are the most prestigious varieties which are found in our Sicilian woods."
The annual volume of farmed truffles is 80 kg/ha for white ones and 80-150 kg/ha for black ones, while of course the data depends on climatic and natural factors for the wild ones.
From an organoleptic point of view, there are not many differences between farmed and wild truffles, if we consider the same variety. Of course Sicily's drier Mediterranean climate conveys a tougher texture, yet guarantees a longer shelf life.
"Not many people known that prestigious white truffles Magnatum pico can be found in our area too, albeit in small quantities," explains Calogero Giuseppe Zuccalà.
Prestigious white truffle
Commercialization is mainly via delis and the H&R sector. We also have an online shop, although it is no longer the company's priority, since it has strengthened its sales network. In addition to the domestic market, the produce is also sold in England, Belgium, Germany and Japan.
"As for exports, we manage to deliver all over the world in 4/5 days. The same cannot be said for the fresh produce, as it undergoes different phytosanitary and customs protocols, so the timeframe depends on the procedures existing in the various countries. Truffle quotations are the same on a national level - this year, prestigious white truffles reach €4,000-5,000/kg, while farmed truffles reach €700-800/kg."
For further information:
Viale Signore Ritrovato , 22/24
94012 Barrafranca (EN)