Observation 206242: Tuber lyonii group

When: 2015-06-09

Collection location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA [Click for map]

Who: Logan Wiedenfeld (LoganW)

No specimen available

Found peaking through the earth under live oaks, NOT pecan. That said, I can’t think of a better candidate. Whatever it is, to my oh-so-untrained eyes, it sure looks like a truffle. The flesh shows the characteristic marbling and the aroma, while not as aromatic as I expected, was not unpleasant.

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Used references: Various web-based resources
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I wondered the same thing, Daniel …
By: Logan Wiedenfeld (LoganW)
2015-06-16 19:27:57 CDT (-0400)

… but as chance would have it, I was contacted by a researcher at U of Florida who likewise referred to the Tuber lyonii group. He referenced “ten different cryptic species” falling under the umbrella of T. lyonii. I think Richard is on the money here.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-06-16 14:29:30 CDT (-0400)

I’m wondering what other species this might be. You have suggested “Tuber lyonii group” which I have never heard of before. What other species are found in this group? Where did you find Tuber lyonii group?

The only other species vaguely resembling this might be Tuber spinoreticulatus. I think the apparent size rules out that species, at least for the most part.

Your specimen
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-06-15 12:54:42 CDT (-0400)

is very mature. Unless you went back within 2 weeks, I don’t think you will find many more there this year. Fortunately, Tubers are like a mine that replenishes itself. You should be able to return at the same time of year in 2016, 2017, 2018… you get the idea. Some years maturation will be a little early (a week to a month), some a little late. But generally about the same time each year.

The “old milk” comment refers to the complexity of Tuber aromatics. I grew up on a farm with milk cows. To me, the aroma has elements of old milk (with elements of butter). Not bad milk.

If Tuber lyonii, that species has been found from near Mexico City to Quebec; from Florida to Arizona (and I wouldn’t rule out CA and OR either). Try using Tuber lyonii in a chowder, possibly a seafood-based chowder. Add some potatoes, clams, shrimp, fish, milk and a truffle or two finely sliced. Add the truffles just before the chowder is done: the last 2 minutes of cooking works for me. Like many Tubers, the aromatic elements of the fungus are released into the dish upon gentle heating, and absorbed by potatoes, milk, eggs, and butter. Once sampled, Tubers become addictive – literally. Odor is a powerful remembrance, and causes people to drop what they were doing and do something else. Tuber melanosporum is an aphrodisiac according to Brillat-Savin.

Tuber lyonii can be dried for later consumption. Clean the truffles to be dried first. Slice the Tuber(s) for faster dehydration, then allow drying in front of a fan at 70-80 degrees for 1-3 days, and freeze. That way you can use Tuber lyonii anytime you want.

The recent rainfall in LA and nearby should produce a bumper crop of Tuber lyonii under any appropriate host tree. This species is common under basswood, pecan, hawthorne, oaks, and some other hardwoods. It seems to be largest under pecan, which is why I suggested it might be cultivated in pecan plantations.

To be honest, Daniel …
By: Logan Wiedenfeld (LoganW)
2015-06-12 19:22:41 CDT (-0400)

… my nose isn’t especially perceptive. I read some of your posts on Tuber lyonii, and the only aromatic quality with which I can faintly identify is that of cornmeal. It did smell, well, grainy – in a good way, to be sure, but definitely like ground grain. So flour, maybe. Cornmeal, yes. Old milk? I’m not (thankfully, I should think) catching that one.

Thanks for the comment, in any case. I’ll have to go digging around there another time. The heavy rains had this one exposed.

It is indeed
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-06-12 01:57:45 CDT (-0400)

a truffle. And since the most prolific Tuber from the south is Tuber lyonii, you are likely correct. The peridium has venae externae; the interior has venae internae.

A very common misconception is Tuber lyonii is found only with pecan. It is not solely found with pecan. It has also been found with oak, basswood, and several other tree species. However, I would like to know the species of the “live oaks” it was found with.

While you state it was “not as aromatic as I expected,” you haven’t really identified the aroma. Thus while Tuber lyonii is still a possibility, other Tubers must be considered as well.

Created: 2015-06-10 00:08:47 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2015-06-15 13:04:05 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 216 times, last viewed: 2018-03-14 21:32:52 CDT (-0400)
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