Home Cooking 7

Questions before my first taste of Oregon Black Truffle

Carb Lover | Jan 17, 2006 04:20 AM

The time has finally come for me to taste my first real truffle! Well, it's not a prized specimen from Italy, but the Oregon variety should be interesting nevertheless. Have read that the Oregon ones have aromas of pineapple, port, mushroom, and chocolate. Are a bit softer than Italian truffles.

Mine has a sour earthy aroma that's very intriguing but doesn't immediately trigger the saliva glands. Pictured below, it weighs about 3/4 oz. and is a little smaller than a golf ball. Even though it was $100/lb., the small nugget was a bargain at $5. :-) I have no idea if I did a good job in choosing or if the quality was adequate; I just picked a hard one that was an affordable size and had some aroma.

After debating how best to showcase this, I've decided that I'd like to make a risotto of some sort. You see, it's currently buried in some risotto-style rice in a jar in my fridge. My instinct was not to store in cold fridge, but I read in several online sources that it's best stored in the fridge and will keep for about 2 wks. I hope to use it up in the next day or two. I will use the rice that it's stored in for the risotto.

I thought about making a very simple risotto w/ standard ingredients like butter, onion, tiny bit of minced garlic, rice, white wine, parmesan, S&P. Then I'd crown the creamy rice w/ shaved truffle. Do hounds think that would be best or would one other flavor dimension bring out the truffle flavor better? Since I've never eaten a truffle, I really don't know. I guess I could shave off a piece to sample and decide for myself, but thought I'd ask hounds. One crazy idea I had was to include small dice of cooked pear in the risotto since I've had a pear risotto before at Antica Trattoria in SF many years ago that was very good, and somehow I can taste it w/ black truffles. OTOH, it could clash terribly...I don't know. Any ideas appreciated!

Other questions:

1. Should I wash the truffle first? Read in a couple places that I should, but just doesn't sound right to me.

2. Should I mix the truffle into the risotto to better release the flavor or should it just stay on top?

Thanks for your advice and I'll report back!

Image: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

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