December 15, 2015

The Best Kept Secret

I was born the Year of the Dog. We'll call it a Lagotto Romagnolo. Why? Truffle season has come to Europe and I’m on the scent like flies on…

picture of black truffle being washed
carefully cleaning the truffle

Occasionally referred to as diamonds of the kitchen, truffles are a symbiotic fungi that grow at the root of trees, such as Oak or Pine. It takes several years for them to mature, and when they do, they are hunted down by a special breed of canine, the Lagotto Romagnolo. Female pigs were originally used because they can detect the scent, which resembles the sex pheromone of a boar, but unfortunately pigs would also eat them. Maybe I should have been born in the Year of the Pig.


picture of thinly sliced truffles marinading in olive oil
truffle pasta sauce based in olive oil

The black truffle harvest begins mid-October and continues until February. Italy hosts a huge truffle festival, The Alba International White Truffle Fair, where one can spend enormous bucks on fungi. But we are super lucky to know the offspring of a veritable French truffle farmer who gets us freshly dug truffles, on request. We don’t actually know where ours came from. The location of truffle forests are kept secret. Think the Knight’s Templar.

picture of truffle pasta
dinner. Yum!

They start out looking like hard pieces of turd but with a little olive oil, garlic, parmesan and pasta, they taste terrific. The only problem is that ours will start to mold after 10 days. In the early 1700s truffle turkey was a big delicacy. Maybe we’ll bring that back this year. 

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