the little truffle that couldn’t

January 4th, 2008 · 14 Comments


hi everyone! happy new year! i took a little holiday hiatus. didja miss me? cause i missed you. honest. so here’s to a wonderful ’08. because i need to tell you how on the last day of ’07 i was totally robbed. yep. i was robbed of my new years eve truffle experience. i went and bought one. a $90 perigord black truffle. and it was a dud. D.U.D. the ‘fine purveyor with the excellent reputation’ got my call on january 2 and was both very fair and kind and a refund has been promised.

i must say that this particular tuberous orb was quite literally: "the unscented truffle extraordinaire". crazy, i know. i usually save unscented for my deodorant hoping for extra scented with my truffles. kinda like a universal balancing act. but not this time. but somehow our dud truffle didn’t really detract from the dish, it just didn’t add anything – to pick out the shavings would have been like removing nothingness. so our new years eve pasta was still wonderful, albeit a bit more bourgeois. it was pasta the way i love it the most. pasta the way mario tells you to eat it. high quality pasta as the main player with the sauce as condiment. laura from ombi was kind enough to make us a batch – a perfect fettucine. not like the frozen egg pasta that needs to be fatter in order to survive the freezer experience. but ‘real deal’ pasta. it got boiled for about 3 minutes and then tossed with an exquisite buttery spanish olive oil, some parmigiano, guerande salt and black pepper. and when it was apparent that my black truffle was sucking wind, i hit the dish with some white truffle oil. and it was just plain excellent.

so, you black truffle you – we needed you not.


Tags: pasta · truffles

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lauren // Jan 4, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Finally, there hasn’t been a post since last year!! Gah! Anyway, the black truffle that couldn’t. At least you tried. My New Years dinner was denied in favor of lettuce wraps, delicious as they may be.

  • 2 lux // Jan 4, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    So sorry about the truffle! If I remember correctly, the ‘French Laundry at Home’ gal also had some issues with a truffle recently; you’d think it wouldn’t be so hard to get good quality at those prices but apparently not.

  • 3 Ponyboat // Jan 5, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Welcome back C! I never got the big whoop-de-doo about truffles. Sort of like the emperor’s new clothes to me. I consider my palate pretty developed, and yet the barely there taste of a truffle in any dish has never in my mind justified the expense.

    The ingredients you used in your pasta dish sound perfect, without the fungus. I prefer not to eat food that comes from muskrat poop anyhow.

  • 4 minimally invasive // Jan 5, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Hey, glad to see you back, Claudia! You really purtied up that truffle, there. If it’d been me, I might’ve sent it back to the “fine purveyor with the excellent reputation” in a flaming brown paper bag.

  • 5 claudia // Jan 5, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    min – it came in a brown paper bag! i guess ‘things’ happen and this time it was to me!!! an opportunity for a buddhist moment…

    pony – oh pony… you are missing the boat here… if you get a good one they are heaven… i so so love the truffle thing.

    lux – you’re right! carol got lied to and was told it was french when it was domestic. but at least hers had some flavor…

    ln – well, lettuce wraps with a smile trumps anything else with an attitude…

  • 6 TaratheFoodie // Jan 5, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Your pasta looks so comforting and delicious. I’m sitting here getting ready to make some breakfast (mmmm, eggs) and your egg noodles are pushing me over the edge. :-)

    I’ve never experimented with truffles in my cooking, not yet anyway. I’ve only started with the truffle oil, which I love. That sucks that yours turned out to be a waste, but at least they’re giving you your money back!

    Here’s to a delicious 2008!

  • 7 melissa // Jan 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    “an opportunity for a buddhist moment” hahaha. mine came this christmas when I was delayed on the tarmac for 2 hours. *breathe* ;P

    happy new year claudia. I’m shaking my head over your failed truffle. crazy.

  • 8 lux // Jan 5, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Seriously, after reading this I am even less inclined to move from truffle oil to actual truffles.

  • 9 claudia // Jan 5, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    tara – i like simple pastas very much. to me they are the most fulfilling

    melissa – flight delays – on the plane – whew…

    lux – oh, one bad experience shouldn’t stop you from getting one. especially in nyc! do it and report back so i can enjoy it vicariously

  • 10 FrenchLaundryatHome // Jan 6, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Oh no!! What a bummer. The one I got from them was fantastic. Italian, not French, but I’m okay with that. I’m glad they’re doing the right thing. I’m going to start looking into Oregon black truffles to see if anyone is doing them really well. Happy new year, babe.

  • 11 Luloah // Jan 6, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Such a ripoff! At least you had some truffle oil on hand to compensate.

  • 12 FireDog // Jan 9, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Missed you!

    Pony B. you crack me up. LOL.
    I’m a virgin when it comes to truffles but admire your passion for them.
    I may be a little too “peanut butter and jelly” for truffles but I’m willing to give them a try.

  • 13 Calyx93 // Jan 16, 2008 at 9:26 am

    One should be able to identify a “dud”, long before slicing it, just by smell alone.

    I was an assistant pastry chef and used to sign for truffle deliveries/shipments at No. 9 Park in Boston – both black and white. The smell would permeate the plastic bag in the delivery clerk’s hand scenting the immediate atmosphere – and once stored, they would literally scent the entire walk-in cooler.

    If you can’t smell it – don’t buy it.

  • 14 countrymouse // Jan 29, 2008 at 9:23 am

    my first visit to NYC was in 1999, I returned to tennessee with one purchase; a single black truffle from dean and deluca, hand carried home in tupperware. i totally get it.
    happy new year, sista.

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