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Cooking with fresh Perigord Truffles

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I have just bought 4oz of fresh Perigord Truffles and have a question about whether the truffles should be warmed to release their maximum flavour or simply shaved ontop of the dish. Two weeks ago I got ahold of a Burgundy Fall truffle and was struck by the fact that when we shaved it ontop of an omelet the flavour was not nearly as strong as when we made another omelet and rolled the shaved truffles inside.

With the Perigord Truffles I plan to use them to make truffled mashed potatoes. I had planned on shaving them over the individual servings at the table but now I am wondering if it would be better to fold them into the potatoes before serving them.

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All truffles have less flavor if they are actually cold, so if you are shaving them you should be sure they are at room temperature.

Perigord truffles (tuber melanosporum) can stand up to cooking but the taste changes. Before about 25 years ago it was unheard of for anyone in France to shave black truffles over a dish; everything was cooked in some way. Then some truffle merchants, like the Pebeyres in Cahors, started using Italian truffle shavers and showing the device to their customers. Now it's common.

Some of the best truffle dishes involve a combination of cooked truffles and bits that are just warmed slightly by the heart of the dish. Burgundy truffles, like white truffles, are known for losing their aroma completely when cooked, so your omelette must have gotten them to just the right temperature.

For mashed potatoes, both methods you describe should work, and a combination might be the best.

Good luck! Having four ounces of Perigord truffles puts you in a very nice position!


Edited by inductioncook (log)

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Thanks for the very useful information.

I think that I will plan to use the combination of some slivered truffles folded into the mashed potatoes and then room temperature truffles shave on top at the table.

We will see how it works out tonight.

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Good luck. Patricia Wells has just come out with a very nice book on cooking with truffles and I see that is the sort of procedure she uses as well, having learned it from Joel Robuchon, who wrote her foreward.

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