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A good truffle, black or white, should be firm yet resilient to the touch, and should be very pungent, the white variety especially. Owen Franken
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If a truffle does not smell intensely, don’t buy it, and never buy one that feels spongy when pressed with the finger, for that means it’s old. Owen Franken
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Fresh black truffles have a black exterior with a slightly rough texture that suggests a dog’s nose. Inside, they should be blackish-brown, with grayish-brown veins. White truffles are a pale yellowish-beige on the outside and brown with beige veins inside. Christopher Hirsheimer
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The most prized (and thus expensive) truffles are usually round and uniformly shaped, but this is only an aesthetic conceit. As long as a truffle isn’t broken and has no holes, its shape is unimportant. Christopher Hirsheimer
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Very good fresh truffles can be found in America, but unless you trust the purveyor you are dealing with, it is probably safer to order directly from a good mail-order source. In this country, truffles are sold cleaned and brushed free of all dirt. If you buy a dirt-covered truffle in Europe, simply clean it carefully with a soft brush. Christopher Hirsheimer

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