November 01, 2012

Horse 1392 - Are Truffles Really That Great?

After watching shows like Iron Chef, Gourmet Farmer, Rick Stein's shows and even Jamie Oliver, the popular and trendy ingredient appears to be the truffle. Truffles are really no more than glorified and highly expensive mushrooms; usually found by trained dogs and pigs and grow in between the roots of certain plants.
However when watching the Two Greedy Italians, I'm now wondering if there is something people aren't telling us.

Because truffles are so expensive, they tend to be used only sparingly in cooking. Most people on telly who eat them appear to really enjoy them, but what if they're just not that great? What if because you've paid so much for the ingredient that there's a loss of face if you're disappointed with the result?
I generally don't really much like mushrooms, there are a few which I think are nice like the shitake but most of the time I just don't get the attraction. Put it this way, if I was at a restaurant and they forgot the mushrooms, I would not be worried.

On an episode of Two Greedy Italians, Antonio and Gennaro visited a farm in Piedmont, where this chap walked his dog around, looking for truffles. Antonio was asked what he thought truffles tasted like. He put his hands near his bottom and did a strange hula dance and said "they taste like fffffffffffffffffff". To be honest, I don't realty want to be tucking into a nice piece of steak or a lamb shank and taste fffffffffffffffffff. I'd just rather not, thank you.

So now I have two opinions; both of them are worlds apart. Either truffles are lovely and taste magical and wonderful, or they taste like the angel's share of Malabar's Finest.
The problem is that in my almost three and a half decades on this planet, I've never even seen a truffle let alone eaten one. I imagine that that trend will continue but if it ever arises that I'm at some do and truffles are on the menu, I'd rather not feel silly for biting into something that tastes like fffffffffffffffffff. If truffles don't taste like fffffffffffffffffff, can someone drop an opinion in the comments section? Unless you too are part of the conspiracy.

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