Why do truffles need to be stored?
If truffles are not stored correctly they can go bad, so you need to make sure you are storing them in the correct way. There are different methods for long term storing and short term storing, so make sure you read the guide below carefully so you know which option is best for you.
Short term methods
The likelihood is, that if you have recently acquired some truffles you plan on eating them pretty soon. If that's the case, following these short term storage solutions is all you need to do. Truffles are best enjoyed fresh, but if you need to store them, then you can do so in the fridge for up to two weeks. They do need some care though, you can't just place truffles in the back of the fridge and forget about them like some other products. Truffles are best kept in a glass jar and wrapped in paper towels. This step is important because truffles are living entities, and they breathe and sweat. Keeping these paper towels around them, and changing them regularly, is an important step in keeping your truffles healthy. Make sure you eat your truffles within two weeks, or else you risk them going bad.
Long term methods
If you absolutely have to store your truffles for longer than two weeks, then you can freeze them at home. Once frozen, truffles can be kept for up to six months. If you do have a way to vacuum pack your truffles then this is best, but failing that a zip bag will suffice, just so long as you remember to squeeze out as much of the air as possible from the bag. Once you are ready to use your truffles, do not defrost them as you might other products. Truffles do not withstand the thawing process well. Simply grate the truffles from frozen over your food and the heat will defrost the thin grates quickly right before you consume them.
What happens if you don't store truffles correctly?
If truffles are allowed to go moist in the refrigerator (by failing to wrap them in paper towels), then they will be unusable. Moisture, direct sunlight and high temperatures are all threats to truffles that will kill these living entities and mean that you are unable to use them. Failing to freeze your truffles in the way described can lead to moisture getting into the truffles if the air is not removed from the bag. Again, this moisture will destroy your truffles and render them unsuitable for use. Truffles are one of the more delicate ingredients available for use in the kitchen, but they also offer one of the most incredible flavors. If you follow the simple steps outlined above then you will be fine, but failure to do so will lead to bad truffles.
How to check if truffles can be used?Truffles are generally made up of about 70% moisture. This is why too much moisture can kill them, as in the scenarios above, but not enough moisture can also. As a general rule, truffles lose about 2-3% of their weight (or moisture) per day, so this is why fresh truffles have such a short shelf life. Failure to consume them in a short period of time will firstly lead to smaller truffles with less flavor and aroma, but will eventually lead to your truffles drying out and rotting. To make sure that your truffle is still safe to eat, make sure they still have that famous truffle aroma and don't smell bad in anyway, and make sure that the truffles have not dried out in the fridge. If they have, there's nothing really you can do to save them, and you'll just have to remember to store them properly next time you acquire some.
Hopefully this quick guide to storing truffles properly has taught you how to look after your truffles and keep them safe to consume for as long as possible.