So many times I’ve tasted the dishes with truffle oil and tried to understand what is the mysterious smell of a truffle. And no, all these truffles infused things can only offer you a hint of what to expect. The best way to imagine what a black truffle tastes like is not to listen to other people’s descriptions, but to try it out yourself. The real deal for the first time is a life-changing experience.
Truffle season is in full swing. Don’t miss your chance to try fresh Perigord Black Truffle, the diamond of the gourmet world. Turn your weekend into the memorable gourmet experience. Just contact Wayne from Tewnion Truffière and he can organize the best delivery service for you.
A few facts about black truffles:
- Tuber melanosporum is known around the world as the culinary diamond of the kitchen. Also referred to as the black winter truffle, or most commonly as the Perigord truffle, named after one of the regions in France where it is commonly collected. Perigord truffles are native to Europe but they are also successfully cultivated in other parts of the globe, such as New Zealand.
- Truffles have a symbiotic relationship with trees and can, therefore, be found under many species of trees. What kind of relationship? A nutrient exchange! Truffles wrap tiny “hairs” or filaments around the roots of the tree and through these small hairs they receive carbohydrates that the tree produces from photosynthesis. In return, the truffle, whose own invisible hairs reach much farther into the soil than the trees’ roots, offers the tree water and minerals.
- Truffles grow in the top 5cm or so of soil and they look exactly like a lump of soil and so are not easy to spot. The truffle hunters use pigs or dogs to locate and uncover the wild truffles growing beneath trees. Female pigs have an innate ability to detect truffles beneath the ground by using their acute sense of smell. Sows are naturally attracted to truffles because they contain a compound very similar to a pheromone secreted by boars. Unfortunately, truffle pigs also have a tendency to eat the truffles they unearth, and as a result, more and more truffle hunters are now using specially-trained truffle dogs to find the truffles. Check the video with truffle hunting and Cassie dog, who helped to harvest 5 kg: https://www.facebook.com/perigordblacktruffles/videos/1953620428009335/
- Truffles should be eaten within 4 days and stored in a fridge. The fresher the better.
- Truffles are considered one of the most expensive foods in the world. It takes four to six years before an inoculated tree will produce its first truffle.
What Is the Best Way to Use Fresh Black Truffles?
Truffle scent help lifts up flavors when combined with other ingredients, enhances the taste of every single bite, and leaves a lingering aftertaste. This is pure magic.
Perigord truffles are intensely flavored, they are served raw on warm dishes, but also can be heated (slightly) to release a more robust flavor and aroma, and are ideal for infusions. They can be shaved fresh as a finishing element. The volatile compounds that release truffles’ distinct aroma are compromised when overcooked, but fats can capture and encapsulate those aromas. Classic pairings are rich foods such as garlic-cream sauce pasta, risotto, and eggs.
Below you can find a simple and easy recipe that is perfect for your first tasting.
- 1/2 Périgord truffle (French black truffle)
- 200 g good quality pasta (I use Tagliatelle)
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 100g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- splash of dry white wine
- two sprigs of thyme, leaves only
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- shaved parmesan to garnish
- fresh parsley leaves to garnish
- Mince 1/4 of truffle, stir into cream. Cover and chill 6 hours.
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Pasta must be cooked al-dente. Reserve some pasta water for the sauce. I recommend using fresh pasta for the best result. Check my post about pasta and how to cook it properly here.
- Clean and trim the Swiss brown mushrooms (or button mushrooms). Clean the mushrooms by rubbing the dirt off with a damp paper towel then slice. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook mushrooms and garlic until golden, 5-6 minutes. Add wine and thyme; cook another 5 minutes. Add truffle infused heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer a few minutes until thickened.
- Add drained pasta to skillet, coating all of the pasta. Add some reserved pasta water and grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with some parsley and thyme. Divide the pasta between pasta bowls. Shave parmesan and fresh truffles on top. Enjoy!