Posted: December 7, 2010
We received 2 1/2 kg Alba Truffles yesterday for our White Truffle promotion. This year's harvest seems more delicate and more intoxicatingly fragrant than last year's, with an aroma that is strong, musky and garlicky. The white truffle season runs from early October to early January, with late November and December being the peak.
Most white truffles in the market are the size of a golf ball at most, often smaller, although they can grow to be much larger. They are graded according to size and appearance, from "super extra", to "extra grade", to "first choice". If you've wondered why the truffles you've seen in some restaurants or books look so much finer than the ones your local gourmet market has on display, it's because they are the top grades. Super extras can be the size of an orange, or even bigger, while extra grade truffles are about the size a large egg; first choice are walnut-sized or smaller. Our preferred white truffles are at extra grade. It's nice to know, though, that the aroma and taste of a small truffle can be just as potent if not more so, than a larger one.
I personally prefer to eat white truffle with very simple soul-comforting basics, evocative of good old Italian home cooking. A homemade pasta ribbonned with white truffles, chicken jus and Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a perfectly cooked carnaroli risotto with freshly shaved white truffles from Alba, butter, whipped cream and cheese can easily make my day.
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