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truffle goods -- what to get and where?


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Hello,

I'd like to get a present for someone who's keen on white truffle oil. Any recs on brands and where to get something like this? Or are there other truffly items to recommend? I'm interested in a range of prices, preferably not utterly exorbitant...

Thanks!

Maeve

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Just replied to a similar query on another board, Maeve.

The truffle oils, especially the white truffle oil, from Il Tartufo di Paoli are excellent. My tiny (55 ml) bottle of the white cost $14 at Latina, though I don't find it on their website. The Urbani oils are very good, too. Beware the inexpensive oils (they don't taste strongly of truffles). And unless you regularly cook for a crowd, avoid the larger bottles, which anyway are usually filled with inexpensive oil. The high quality oils pack a punch, and a little goes a long way. I especially like to drizzle the white oil on puréed soups (corn, corn and lobster, celery root, jerusalem artichoke, etc.). Black truffle oil is wonderful in vinaigrettes. Once you open the bottle, store it in the fridge.

In season, fresh truffles can be found at Latina, Chez Louis and, so I'm told, Chez Nino. Any fresh black/brown ones you find now are likely to be inferior summer truffles (Tuber aestivum) or Chinese truffles (T. himalayensis). The superior Périgord or French truffle (T. melanosporum) probably won't show up until November or December.

According to various Web reports, the Piedmontese white truffle season has begun. They're imported to Montreal, though I've only seen them in restaurants, not stores. (Does anyone know who in the city sells them retail?) Anyway, they definitiely fall into the utterly exorbitant category.

Canned truffles — whole or chopped, unadulterated or combined with mushrooms, herbs, etc. — are pale imitations of fresh. Ditto the two frozen Périgord truffles I've tried (got them at Chez Louis). Have seen sauce recipes calling for truffle juice but have never plonked for a can. A couple of foodie e-friends of mine swear by truffle flour, which I believe is white flour aromatized with white truffles the same way you truffle eggs by storing them for a few days in a closed container with black truffles; they use it to flavour béchamel-type sauces, pasta dough, mashed potatoes and as a thickener. I've yet to find it in Montreal, however.

Edited by carswell (log)
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Truffle oils should be used sparinglly,as they tend to be a false taste in most cases.I went to the trouble to get Urbani white truffle oil,and was very disappointed in the quality,as the $$ didn't justify the product.

The best I have ever tried in truffle oil is Antonio Pettinicchi-very pugent and natural taste.I think I got at Capitol @marche J.Talon.

Also for bottled truffles,try his 80g.jar of "Fettine di Tartufo nero estio"

(sliced summer black truffles)-no doubt the best you will ever try for a bottled/canned truffle

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According to a very small item in the NY Times today, the season for Italian white truffles is starting. So Maeve, you might want to start looking for the fresh Italian white truffles now. It's probably very expensive however.

-Steve

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