Truffle Mania


What I stupidly neglected to take a picture of was the truffles themselves - huge, gorgeous black diamonds, just a day or two out of the earth, and so fragrant one whiff was enough to make me dizzy. I've never had truffles this good outside of France.

This is the peak moment in black truffle season.  My friend Samir Arora invited a group of us to share his bounty, showcasing his truffles in a truly spectacular kaiseki-like meal, and pairing them with an array of Rhone wines.  

We began with a thick slab of truffle on a buttered slice of toasted brioche. Eaten slowly, while sipping Condrieu, the presentation emphasized the earthy taste of the truffle. I could have stopped here and gone home happy.


But there was so much more. This is truffle in an entirely different mood.  Served in a clear and extremely delicate dashi with a tender ricotta dumpling, the truffle shed its earthiness, becoming a gentle whisper of flavor.



Is there anything better than truffled scrambled eggs?  Probably not, although Samir gave these a Japanese twist, scrambling the eggs in dashi.  And then, moving back to France, he added a crips little bit of truffle butter toast.



Truffle and artichokes.  They were born to be together.



Truffled poached salmon. We were drinking a Clos des Papes with this, which is about as perfect a pairing as I could possibly imagine.



A medley of truffled vegetables (the celery root was especially felicitous).  Beneath that truffle hat hides a plump seared sea scallop.  Truffles love seafood, and they seemed especially happy here.



A simple arugula salad.




How do you end a truffle feast?  With a few truffled cheeses of course.

Thanks Samir.  It was a truly memorable evening.

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Where am I eating? What's for dinner tonight? And what books have I been reading? For a look at what's going on in my life lately, take a look at this journal, which I try to update on a regular basis.