On my first trip to Paris I came home with four souvenirs. An Hermés scarf, a tiny jar of confits from breakfast at the Hotel Negresco in Nice, a wrapped sugar cube from Musée d'Orsay restaurant and this tiny tin of truffle pieces. Despite buying the truffles at great expense I decided not to open them. They would be well past their use by date now.
After reading The Truffle Book this week I decided to check the small print on my tin to see if they were the real thing. Sadly it doesn't list their type.
The Truffle Book by Gareth Renowden who lives in the South Island of New Zealand has given me an insight into the world of truffles. Fungi truffles that is, not chocolate truffles. Which incidentally were named after the fungal variety due to their shape.
Who knew there were so many different varieties and they grow in other parts of the world, not just France and Italy? Even the Chinese are flooding the world with home grown truffles. They are not up to the standard of the French grown truffle though so be wary.
By the time I was half way into the book I was planning my own little truffle farm, or the correct term truffière. And not for the money that can be made, although that would be nice. I'd just like to have access to truffles to enjoy when the mood strikes.
On a trip to Paris we were fortunate to be treated to dinner at La Grande Cascade by a business contact. I ordered an entrée of white truffle which came stuffed into a pasta parcel and served with a cream sauce. That was ten years ago and I can still remember how fabulous it tasted.
The Truffle Book is well worth the read if you want to know anything and everything about truffles. It covers everything from the history of the truffle to how to grow your own. Being a book about food it even includes a few recipes. I particularly enjoyed Gareth's chapter on the fungal feast he enjoyed at restaurant Il Coccio in Italy as part of his research for the book.
Check it out here .