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Black Truffles from North Carolina


Varmint
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Okay, I'll say right now that I've never tasted them.

But I have tasted Oregon truffles and Himalayan truffles.

Truth be told, NOTHING thus far compares with European truffles - so I doubt the ones from North Carolina will either...

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The terroir probably cannot be duplicated since the European truffles exist in a unique symbiotic relationship with the flora and fauna in France and Italy, but mainiy what I am insterested in if its a good product in its own right -- forget comparing it to the European variety.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Last year Nicholas Lander wrote about a dinner he had had at Elizabeth's in Savannah. He maintained that he had been served delicious local truffles.I am fairly certain that the article was in the weekly food and wine column of the Financial Times. I asked a number of New York chefs if they had heard of these but no-one had. It seems that they are definitely up to something down South!

Ruth Friedman

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The NYT did a story on non-Euro truffles, including the ones from N.C., within the last couple of months. They did a comparative tasting and the N.C. ones didn't fare well. But that's the Times. I think it was Grimes who did the tasting though, and I often disagreed with him.

Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

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Yeah. What if they're better?

Okay, you spend $200 an ounce on European white truffles and whatever they are charging for the North Carolina truffles and tell us!

We need someone in the field to investigate.

But, I'll put $100 down on the surmisability that the European truffles will be better.

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Yeah. What if they're better?

Okay, you spend $200 an ounce on European white truffles and whatever they are charging for the North Carolina truffles and tell us!

We need someone in the field to investigate.

But, I'll put $100 down on the surmisability that the European truffles will be better.

Perhaps, but how much ($$) better? Cost/benefit analysis.

Speaking of $$, how much do these NC truffles run?

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Okay, you spend $200 an ounce on European white truffles and whatever they are charging for the North Carolina truffles and tell us!

We need someone in the field to investigate.

I agree absolutely. I'm going to need some grant funding for this project, I'm afraid.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Okay, you spend $200 an ounce on European white truffles and whatever they are charging for the North Carolina truffles and tell us!

We need someone in the field to investigate.

I agree absolutely. I'm going to need some grant funding for this project, I'm afraid.

You know, I'm about to enter the Food Science program at State. I think I really could work this into a research project. Grant or not, though, I'm willing to try one of the NC ones out if it's not super expensive. All in the name of science, you understand. I figure if it's nasty or weird I'll be able to tell that w/out having a Euro truffle to compare.

Lord, I hope nobody brings this to my daddy's attention. He's always cooking up some weird farming scheme for our 80 acres in the mountains. Last month it was cranberries. Before that it was blueberries, because no one in our county has a pick you own blueberry farm. If he gets wind of truffles, God help us all.

Gourmet Anarchy

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  • 2 years later...

Any updates on how the North Carolina or other U.S. truffles compare in taste with European truffles?

A recent thread mentions black truffles from Tennessee.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Being a pitiful freelance writer, I'm afraid I'm out on the comparison tasting. But I did an article, oh, 10 years or so ago on someone growing truffles in Hillsborough. I don't know if they were as good as European truffles, but they were pretty darn good, as I recall. And if NC truffles are more reasonably priced and therefore more accessible to food fans, that seems like a good thing to me. And I'm in favor of anything that local farmers could grow (legally) that might help them make a decent living, especially as the state is looking for good-paying alternatives to tobacco. If truffles save a family farm from development, YAY!

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I have had the Black Perigord truffles from Hillsborough's own Franklin Garland over the years (since '98 I believe) and can tell you that they are succeptable to fine and poor quality seasons, like most other crops. In the poor years, they are fairly mild and rarely worth the money. But during outstanding years (about one in four) they are as good as any that I have had in France, Italy or Spain, including truffle meals at Beaugraviere and Georges Blanc. Not to mention that he sells them for a song comparatively.

Your best bet is too smell and examine them before you purchase. In great years, the smell is so overwhelming in the room that you cannot think about anything else in their presence! If you have to get close to them for a whiff, skip it.

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