If truffles are seasonal and mature at different times of the year in different parts of the world, it is during the fall and winter season that they are at their peak and flavoursome.
What is the Black Truffle?
A truffle is a subterranean fungus that grows in the shadow of trees around the world. Grown underground, truffles are a prized treasure and have been regarded as a gem of the culinary world.
The black truffle, tuber melanosporum, harvested mainly in south-west France, is certainly the mushroom, which has generated the most expressive images.
Truffles are known for their natural aroma that can wow the senses of any human (or animal) that comes in contact with it. Rich in umami, truffles are revered by chefs from different cultures and used in a variety of cuisines.
Introducing the black diamond of the kitchen: the origin of the truffle
People have been eating this black diamond of the kitchen for almost 4,000 years. If it's in the sixteenth century that people instigated the use of muzzled pigs for finding them, it is in the eighteenth century that its popularity started to spread. In 1892, French truffle production was over 1,000 tons, against less than 100 tons today; which justifies its price.
During the holiday season, the truffle is the star of the show! It should therefore be used as an accent to your dish.
How truffle perfumes your food
If sometimes people “truffle” a poultry externally, by sliding slices between the flesh and skin of the bird, this practice only perfumed the oven! As only the truffles stuffed in the inside of the bird will give fragrance to the flesh, it is encouraged to fill the bird with a mixture of fresh pork belly fat, salt, brandy and fresh truffles.
Given the cost of this delicacy, the last thing you want to do is dilute its essence in a complicated or overpowering dish. It is therefore, advised to pair it with simpler foods.
Recipe and pairing tips for the holidays
Pair truffles with a Piedmontese red wine such as Barolo or Barbera or an earthy Burgundy for a match made in heaven.
Try classic food combos such as pairing with beef, pork, bacon, pancetta or vension. Black truffle always works well with eggs or cheese dishes. Fancy pasta and rice dishes: truffle tastes great cooked into cream sauces such as “alfredo,” or in traditional risottos.
Truffle in our Culinary Arts program
EHL Campus Passugg students are big fans of this black diamond and as a part of their curriculum, they go on an excursion of truffle hunting with our Executive Chef Mr. Gion Fetz. Have you been for a truffle hunting before? If not, join the Culinary Arts Program and a be a part of cool and educational excursions.