Real truffles are very popular all around the world. Truffles have a mushroom flavor with deep roasted seeds or walnuts and a strong characteristic aroma. A wide variety of dishes are prepared from truffles, which are considered delicacies and are very expensive.
You can cook a large number of different dishes with a truffle. So, what do you do with a truffle? How do you use truffles? Truffles can be salted, mixed with fruits, meat, vegetables, added to salads, and used to make delicious sauces and gravy. Truffles go well with apples, caviar, snails, seafood, and eggs.
Also, these mushrooms can be served as an independent dish. In this case, some delicious sauce must be served with the truffles. Truffles in champagne are recognized as an original dish. Sometimes these mushrooms are used as fillings for pies and rolls. When preparing these mushrooms, it is necessary to use only high-quality and expensive products.
Do you wash truffles? Truffles should not be washed, because moisture will make the truffle rot. Truffles should be cleaned with a stiff brush. The brush should be dry and then slightly damp. Truffles should be cleaned just before cooking.
Truffle tubers are brought to restaurants unpeeled and unwashed. In a restaurant, they are subjected to dry processing, gently sweeping away the sand with a brush, and placed in a refrigerator. There they are stored at a temperature of + 2–3 ° С for 2–3 days in a sealed container, wrapped in a paper towel or sprinkled rice. The disadvantage of the second method is that, together with moisture destructive for the fungus, the grains absorb the aroma no less intensively.
Truffles can also be frozen or vacuum-sealed for easy storage. Frozen truffles are usually stored at a temperature not exceeding –15 ° С for 1 year from the date indicated on the package. They need to be removed from the freezer and thawed until they can be cut. Complete defrosting will occur during the cooking process.
Truffles and Cooking
What are truffles used for in cooking? Truffles are added to main courses due to their special taste and aftertaste. French chefs recommend combining truffles with eggs, poultry, and lobster. Truffles can be combined with any food, especially with one that does not have a pronounced taste of its own. Truffles can also be served with fruit and pies. Exotics like snails or black caviar are often garnished with truffle slices.
There are also recommendations for choosing wine for truffles. Truffles go best with white wines “Meursault”, “Burgundy Grand Cru”, red “Bordeaux” or “Cahors”. One of the recipes that have earned world fame is truffles in champagne. Given the high price of the mushroom, it is often served with a wine or cream sauce to enhance the flavor. In general, a truffle is a mushroom for gourmets, it does not necessarily appeal to everyone.
What is the best way to eat truffles? The best way to eat truffle is with fried or baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, pasta, risotto. The truffle can be added to carpaccio, grated on an omelet or scrambled eggs, or put on foie gras. A more sophisticated use is truffle-mushroom ravioli or truffle-cheese ravioli. Or, for example, one of Paul Bocuse’s classic soups with boiled meat, foie gras, and truffle. In other words, the presence of this product in the kitchen opens up a wide field for experimentation.
Where else do you use truffles? In Italy, they make elite cosmetics from truffles, which make it possible to moisturize the skin, remove wrinkles, restore youth, and get rid of existing age spots. In some countries of the East, the juice obtained from truffles is used to improve vision and prevent eye diseases.
How to Serve Truffles
- Since the truffle itself is quite expensive, it is rarely eaten neat. If this is done, then the mushroom is served in combination with various sauces that emphasize the unsurpassed taste.
- Truffles are also added to dishes to give them an expressive truffle aroma.
- You can sprinkle black caviar and other rather expensive dishes with shavings from these marsupial mushrooms.
- Truffles can be served in champagne. This is the most sophisticated option for preparing a marsupial mushroom.
- Truffles can be served with ham and other types of meat, as well as with fruits. It is a kind of versatile ingredient that complements any dish with its taste and aroma.
- The truffle can be eaten raw, stewed, baked, steamed.
Choosing and Buying Truffles
Truffle has a short shelf life, so you can taste it fresh only during the harvesting season, moreover, these delicious mushrooms cannot be found in supermarkets. Usually, fresh truffles are served in restaurants that buy delicacies in small batches of 30-100 grams (they are transported by air in special containers) or in gastronomic markets. For real gourmets in such a situation, a trip to France or Italy during the truffle season would be a good option.
For longer storage of the truffle, it can be frozen or canned. Sometimes during transportation, the mushroom is placed in olive oil or covered with rice, which allows it to keep fresh for longer.
A good, fresh truffle produces a strong and rich aroma. Visually identify a few truffles for yourself, and then close your eyes and smell them. You can safely take a mushroom with a complex aroma, and if you feel benzene notes in it, do not buy it.
Experts use their fingers to evaluate the inside of the fungus without cutting it. Take the mushroom in your hand and lightly press on it. Do not squeeze it, otherwise, it will darken like an apple. The truffle should be soft to the touch. If it is dry, it means that the mushroom is old.
Fresh mushrooms contain a lot of moisture, so the weight of even a small mushroom should be very significant. If the range of choice has narrowed to two mushrooms, it is enough to estimate their weight offhand by taking the truffles in different hands. The heavier a truffle, the more moisture it contains, which means that it is fresher (a truffle loses up to 1 gram of moisture every day).
As you know, insects choose only the best fruits for themselves. Small holes left by mollusks in the mushroom indicate not defectiveness, but the quality of the mushroom.
Since the truffle grows below the surface, there are always lumps of soil on it. The soil helps keep the mushroom fresh, but at the same time adds weight to it. Enterprising sellers sometimes go for the trick and save a little more land on a truffle than is needed to extend its life. If it seems to you that they are trying to sell you a piece of soil, do not hesitate and ask to clean the ground before weighing.
The truffle is wrapped in soft paper, placed in a container, and placed in the refrigerator. The paper should be changed every day. In such conditions, the mushroom can be stored for up to 2 weeks. It is better not to wait until the critical moment and enjoy the incomparable taste of truffle by adding it to the dish.
Truffle Side Effects
Truffles are contraindicated only for those who have individual intolerances and allergies. It is not recommended to use these mushrooms in case of digestive problems, since in this case, the stomach is unlikely to be able to cope with the work given to it. In low-quality restaurants, they can offer a dish of false truffles, which often causes poisoning. To prevent this from happening, you need to visit only trusted restaurants that value their reputation.
And in no case should you take these mushrooms from the hands of strangers at some ridiculously low prices. Remember a real truffle is an expensive pleasure, and it simply cannot be cheap. In other cases, truffle does not have any other side effects.