the beginning of truffles…

Truffles with all their dirt

Truffles with all their dirt

I’ve never owned a truffle before. Never had access to the real thing. Until now.

Well, my vegetable merchants sold me some Chinese truffles a few years ago. They looked like truffles, felt like truffles, but sure didn’t have the truffle aroma or flavor of truffles.

I tried truffle oil which I found a little cloying and not as satisfying as it should be for the money.

I tried truffle salt. Pretty good stuff, actually. Still have some in my fridge, but it’s lost a lot of the aroma by now.

Last week, a friend in Provence told me that he was getting some good truffles from his ‘trufière’- a grove of oak trees that he has planted especially for trying to grow truffles, the market price was good these days. And ‘did I want some.’

A trick question? No. I’d LOVE some truffles.

Over-nighted me a little over 300 grams of the stuff. ‘Call me when you get it and I’ll tell you what to do with them.’

They were in a plastic bag, still with all the dirt on them. The aroma came out as soon as I opened the bag. A sweet earthy, black olive, nuttiness that is so unique. So intoxicating. In the best sense of the term.

‘First,’ he said, ‘scrub them with a toothbrush or a nailbrush under cold water in order to get all the dirt off. Then place them on a paper towel and let them dry for a bout 45 minutes.’

‘Then, you must go get some eggs.  What you do, once the truffles are dry is put some in a jar with the eggs.  The eggs will absorb the aromas of the truffles and will be fantastic just on their own.’

I’d heard of this before, but never had the truffles to play with and see if it worked.

‘You do that with the ones you want to eat in the next week. And be sure to put a paper towel in there to absorb any humidity. All of the other ones put them in another jar with a paper towel and freeze them. You can take them out, as you want them. And eat them within 10 months to a year.’

Little did I know that 24 hours later my whole fridge would smell of truffles. Those little things are potent!

The Duc and I have since come up with almost twenty different truffle food pairings…Watch this space.

One Comment Add yours

  1. julia says:

    this is so cool. your posts have reminded me of a memorable description of truffles in the book ‘the food of love’ (a fun food-oriented novel): ‘she broke the truffle open and pressed it to his nose. the scent was overpowering: sex and old socks and musk.’

    what a great gift to have a bag full of those arrive in your kitchen! thanks for all the recipes!

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