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SobaAddict70

Chinese Truffles

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As a result, wholesale prices for the "black diamonds" have surged to more than $1,250 per earthy kilogram, compared with about $25 for Chinese truffles. A kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of fresh truffles at specialized boutiques like La Maison de la Truffe in Paris now costs nearly $3,200, making truffles one of those rare agricultural products more profitable than opium.
Though Chinese truffles have a fungal flavor, they are not as strong as the famed French species and have a faintly bitter edge. "I don't know how to describe it," Mr. Tournayre said, spitting the bit back into his hand. "It tastes like rubber."

Let Them Eat Truffles (Craig S. Smith) (from this weekend's DIGEST. You may have to scroll down for the appropriate link.)

Globalization at its worst! :blink:

What next, foie gras from Hong Kong? But you know what? It wouldn't surprise me one bit...all things considered.

What do you think?

Soba

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I'd be very surprised if a country the size of China, with such a diverse range of climates wasn't capable in areas of producing truffles.

Seems a shame that people are jumping on this though, when China has a far wider range of native fungi based flavourings, and a far more sophisticatedapproach to their use than we have in the west.


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I made the mistake of ordering a truffle tasting menu in France some years back before noticing that they were Himalayan truffles. Alas, they had a taste somewhere between potatoes and ... , well maybe turnips but the texture was harder than boiled potato and smoother than raw potatoes. It was not a treat.

The fact that this variety is related to food quality truffles should not confuse anyone into thinking these really have much value for the table.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Here's what bugs me about this article - that a lone Frenchman spotted some Chinese farmer feeding these Chinese truffles to his pigs? The implication being that the Chinese weren't eating these themselves - and just feeding them to the pigs? I just find that so hard to believe - given the Chinese inclination - especially in the rural southwest - the rural Chinese anywhere - to eat anything and everything in sight. I just have to say that a mildly truffle tasting potato or turnip does not sound bad at all. I saw them at the market last year - will look for them again. I've had the 1200 euro/kg wholesale black truffles this year and I'm not that impressed - not enough truffle mojo. And almost everyone uses black tuffle juice unless it's freshly sliced. So I'm thinking 25 euros/kg is not a bad gamble.

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... not a bad gamble.

The inclusion of a few mediocre truffles in a dish isn't going to ruin the dish. My problem was that it just got more boring as the meal went on.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Bux, I wasn't saying Himalyan truffles were a good thing in your meal. Turnip-y tasting truffles is one thing - but truffle-y tasting turnips is another. If the Chinese truffles are described by the French guy as being kind of bitter and rubbery - but still mildly truffle-tasting - I'm thinking that they could benefit from some cooking - first thing that comes to mind is a root vegetable puree - cook, butter, cream - NOT eaten raw.

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