There are many types of Asian truffles. The two main types are the Chinese Black Truffle and the Mid-Eastern Terfez.
The merit of these truffles is highly disputed; some have called them comparable to black summer truffles, others find it completely different to any European truffle. They look like your average truffle on the outside, knotty and knobby, a dirty black-brown color, smaller than European truffles, about the size of a walnut. On the inside, they are jet black, with white spidery veins and a more elastic consistency. They are harvested mainly from October to February.
Chinese Black Truffle
Tuber indicum or Tuber sensiese
: Also known as the Himalayan truffle, (found in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal) and the Szechwan and Yunnan provinces in China. Like all other truffles, they grow on the base of trees, typically pine trees or other conifers. They are commonly labeled as Winter Black Truffles
, and many say they are comparable to the French and Italian Winter or Summer Black Truffles.
Terfezia bouderi, terfezia spp, or Terfezia claveryi
: Also known as “black kame", or the "brown kame” or “desert truffle”. It originates on the semi-arid regions of North Africa and Middle East, from Morocco to Iraq. This subterranean mushroom grows abundantly underneath the hot desert sand, and has been collected after heavy rainfalls for thousands of years. Today, it is the most widely collected truffle in the world. They are attributed certain aphrodisiac qualities, and often associated with the cult of the Greek goddess of love, Venus. This truffle is highly perfumed (some would say overpowering), and is traditionally cooked with dishes such as couscous, and is very high in protein. The Terfez is a lighter colored truffle, and the harvesting season goes from late December to early April.