Monthly Archives: April 2009

fancy it up with truffle

truffle salt and truffle oil

I’ve only had truffle overload once: in New York, at the now-defunct Palio restaurant a dozen years ago, with so much truffle on my risotto that afterward I burped truffle. And ended up throwing up truffle risotto into the toilet of my hotel room. Lucky toilet.

It took me a few years to venture towards truffle again; in hindsight, I blame the red wine for ejecting the truffle out of my body. But I have never turned my back against this earthy, rich flavor again and every year I look forward to Fall for all its beauty, including the emergence of truffles.

Truffle is decadent, it’s a taste that’s hard to put a finger on. It’s like the high fat European-style butter of the mushroom/fungus world (hey, truffles are technically fungi that sprout fruiting bodies beneath the ground, while mushrooms are fungi that sprout above ground).

We can’t always get our hands on truffles; they’re in season for only several weeks a year. But I still seek its flavor all year long, and I did come upon truffle salt at the Fancy Food Show this past year. Why had I never thought of it before? I scored a little sample vial of truffle salt with a little squeal of glee (along with lots of free vanilla and vanilla paste, flavored sugar (mrmm lemon sugar and sweet onion sugar!) and all manner of chocolate). The vendor, fusion, maker of many fine artisanal salts, advised me to sprinkle the black truffle salt on some on popcorn.

But I had a better idea. I “fancied up” some scrambled eggs (made with farm fresh eggs of course!) with a sprinkle of this black truffle salt and a splash of truffle oil.

These days, I’m trying to eat healthier, and eat fewer carbs. I’m in this weird tundra of food possibilities (carbohydrates are my promised land–meat, not so much) and I’m in a continuous search for flavors and textures that will make this high protein, lower carb land sparkle for me (lower carb meaning, not 95% carb anymore).

Wow. The truffle did it. It made something ordinary, extraordinary. I now crave truffle infused scrambled eggs as much as I do brioche bread from the Cheese Board or morning buns from La Farine.

I recommend splurging on the black truffle salt (available at salt works for $17.99 for a 5.5 ounce jar…or if you care to pay more for less, dean and deluca offers 3.5 ounces for $28), to make something ordinary, extraordinary. The possibilities are endless: on some simple boiled pasta (okay that’s carb), or on vegetables or on popcorn, or all manner of egg preparations, whether it be poached, fried, scrambled, omelet, frittata, or quiche.