Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Truffle

When we received a gift of a black and white truffle from Mr A&N's brother, the four of us present began debating what to do with them. There were many tantalizing and outlandish options, but my brother-in-law was adamant about what we needed to do with the white truffle: we were to have an egg breakfast the next weekend, and shave the entire truffle over the eggs. I was surprised he didn't suggest coating our toast in gold leaf first to ensure we didn't lose sight of the decadence of the occasion.


Truffles are one of those food stuffs that make me wonder what mad demon possessed the first person who suggested this thing would make good eating. They look like the sort of thing that would be removed from the body with a proclamation of "Ooh, that's a nasty looking fellow". Their smell is one produced from a pair of socks worn by an un-washed teenage boy and left festering under a bed, being cooked in sunshine, and with a generous nugget of Camembert ripening in each toe. To be fair, that first truffle-finder probably had a long career ahead of him in creating a range of French cheeses.


And so we've lived as I'd imagine the Sun King would have lived (minus the profusion of cherubs and gilt-edging), with a breakfast of white truffled eggs and an evening snack of black truffles on bruschetta. I made sure to have some good-quality crusty bread on hand since I figured your average loaf of white wouldn't really do. The truffles taste much better than they smell (again, like many a French cheese) - a beguiling musky, woodsy, and ultimately mushroomy flavor that would sometimes chase itself away from you, only for it to sneak back in and fill you with its fungal essence. It's not a treat we will have a chance to repeat often (until that magical ship comes in - you know the one) but it was lovely while it lasted.

17 comments:

Cinnamonda said...

Oh, what a treat that must have been! I have never tasted truffles, but maybe some day... :)

jasmine said...

What an excellent description of its...um...distinctive aroma.

If you've got it, use it...I'm guilty of saving such things for the "right" thing...trying desperately to break free of that.

j

Gigi said...

I love the smell description, too funny. Enjoy your truffles!

Emiline said...

Am I jealous? YES!
This is the ultimate gourmet breakfast. Savor it forever.

Your description of the truffles...wow. I'm feeling a little sick. ;)

Pille said...

You've got some very generous friends, Annemarie!!

Wendy said...

Truffles have always been a mystery to me. Never tried one and was a little confused about what the fuss could be about. No so any longer. Great description. Thank you!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Oh my god - you know the right people! I love truffle, but am mostly restricted to truffle oil, since I clearly don't know the right people! Lucky you!

Annemarie said...

Hi Tiina - I have faith you'll find a way to try truffles - as a food lover, they're bound to cross your path at some point!

Hi Jasmine - I couldn't agree more about breaking free of these restrictions we put on ourselves. Not that I'm good at it, but do also realize that pleasures in life should be savored rather than postponed.

Hi Gigi - thanks! I think the next truffles in my future will be the chocolate variety. :)

Hi Emiline - It did feel very decadent. You'll get there some day when you're as old and crotchety as I am. ;)

Hi Pille - I really do. I'm very lucky!

Hi Wendy- I hope it hasn't de-mystified truffles enough to put you off the experience, though!

Hi Forkful - I am very lucky, I admit, particularly because we gave the truffle gift-giver a suckling pig for Christmas last year, so we were terrified it would begin a round of retaliatory bizarre animal giving (5 years time, we receive a camel...).

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Ha! After I read truffle, I was expecting the candy version. I was squinting at your pic, saying, "Hmmm...that doesn't look like a truffle." These are even better! What a gift, indeed.

tammy said...

So very well said. I shall live vicariously.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

You make me giggle! So good to read truffles described in such a way...

Lis said...

HAR! My co-workers are looking at my funny.. apparently they'd like to know why I just laughed out loud at my monitor. ;)

I've never had a taste of one! Black or white! But everything I've read leads me to believe they are heavenly.

Oh my.. am still giggling.. fantastic description!

xoxo

White On Rice Couple said...

You are so lucky! Just knowing how much those cost make my knees shake! Have fun with em!

Annemarie said...

Hi Susan - I think all this truffle talk made me long for the chocolate version, so I picked up a box o those for Valentine's. :)

Hi Tammy - May you have some truffles in your future, too!

Hi Amanda - Thanks. Hope giggling didn't do anything horrible to your back. :}

Hi Lis - You have no idea how many times I had to sniff the thing to come up with my opinion on it. Oh the sacrifices I make!

Hi White on Rice - I know what you mean. And talk about pressure to make a nice meal with them!

White On Rice Couple said...

I saw on TV that a restaurant was serving a $50 grilled cheese truffle sandwich. Would that be a start? or a waste of a precious ingredient?

Veron said...

Yes, truffles are quite the treat. He..hee...I do like it's smell although years before i would have probably ran away from it.

Lore said...

"They look like the sort of thing that would be removed from the body with a proclamation of "Ooh, that's a nasty looking fellow" " that was sooooo funny!!!:)) That calls for a "mise-en-scène" in a stand up comedy show.