Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Famed Winter Truffles Available in Summer

Italian composer Rossini once said: “I have wept three times in my life. Once when my first opera failed. Once again the first time I heard Paganini play the violin. And once when a truffled turkey fell overboard at a boating picnic."

Truffled turkey was a much sought after dish in Rossini’s time. We usually prefer them with scallops or lobster, or stirred into a butter buerre-blanc and ladled over halibut or sole.

The truffle is a form of fungi which grows through a symbiotic relationship with tree roots. Most commonly truffles are found growing in the roots of beech, poplar, birch or oak. They feed on sugars released by the roots systems of these trees, and in return help the roots to better absorb water and nutrient from the soil.

The size of a truffle ranges roughly from that of a pea to that of a potato, with the larger ones being considered the most valuable. To harvest them requires the use of specially trained dogs (and sometimes pigs) who sniff them out from underneath the leaf litter and shallow soil where they lie hidden.

We are very lucky to have Winter Truffles available during the upcoming months. The Winter Truffle is superior in quality to that of the summer variety. Ours are shipped in overnight-express from Western Australia; and it is only thanks to the fact that it is now winter in the southern hemisphere that we can enjoy access to this renowned delicacy!

The cool, rainy climate of Western Australia is ideal for the cultivation of the Black Winter Truffle. The ones that we will have available over the course the next season are the exact same species of truffle and are of the same premiere quality as those from the famed region of Perigord, France.

Most foodies have at one time or another experimented with truffle oil. However, this product, which one can find commonly in gourmet stores and supermarkets, is simply olive oil flavored with synthetic chemicals and does not actually contain any of the prized fungi.

A fresh truffle is something that the aspiring cook should try at least once. When you cut into one a distinctive scent will fill the kitchen. It’s an expansive, earthy and slightly musky fragrance. Many chefs like to store common ingredients like rice or eggs or potato in a closed container with fresh sliced truffles for a few days and simply allow the flavor of the delicacy to infuse into that of the rice, eggs, or potato.

It is absolutely necessary to use truffles when they are fresh since the flavor and fragrance of this delicacy will dissipate over time.

Truffles wonderfully complement seafood and give a cook a lot of room for creativity. Try them with Chillean Seabass, Crabmeat, Trout, and Scallops. Black Truffles can be eaten raw or cooked. Just a few shavings can make a dish dazzle!

We will have shipments of this remarkable ingredient arriving at Kanaloa every Thursday. They are portioned in one ounce increments and will be available for purchase at $100 per ounce. Please note that we will need orders to be placed at least one week in advance.

Also keep in mind that we can over-night our prized truffles anywhere in the U.S. They make the perfect gift for that die-hard foodie who lives out-of-state!

If you are looking for Truffles or any other out-of-the ordinary seafood item or ingredient sure to ask our staff about our “Fish Wish List”!

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