Make your festive menu stand out from the crowd with indulgent truffles.
Truffles are the last truly wild and seasonal product and the aura of earthy luxury this seasonal fungi creates is the perfect treat for your customers this Christmas.
Hearty, warm and comforting, fresh truffles are a natural antidote to the harsh winter temperatures and the perfect welcome for customers congregating to celebrate the festive season in style.
And now with suppliers offering next day delivery, you can order the minimum amount required ensuring you always have the freshest truffles on your menu.
“Truffles are not an easy product to deal with – their value and relatively short shelf life mean chefs are often split between ordering enough, not wasting such a product and most importantly being able to offer their customers that “just-unearthed” experience,” says Nadia Howell, director of London-based WTAtruffles.
White Winter Truffles (Tuber Magnatum Pico) available until 31 December
They have an intense floral garlic aroma and work well with any mild and sweetbased ingredient like cheese, butter, eggs, rice, pasta, potatoes.
To allow their uniqueness to shine, simplicity and exceptional quality ingredients are the rules. Italian chefs’ favourite uses for white winter truffles are in risotto, Tajarín (thinly cut fresh egg pasta made with double the amount of yolk) and served with butter, fried eggs, beef carpaccio or tartare. They must never be cooked and it’s better to let the dishes cool a little before topping them with truffles – shaving the truffle onto the dish in front of the customer is a good option and adds some theatre too. Perfect with gnocchi with fontina or taleggio cheese fondue, to top a salsify and potato soup, or shaved over a creamy Parmesan and chestnut risotto.
Black Autumn Truffles (Tuber Uncinatum) available 1 October – 31 December
More abundant they cost less than winter truffles so are good to experiment with. They have a delicate aroma and a flavour reminiscent of hazelnuts and underwood. Try them sliced or grated on top of dishes, or quickly and very gently sautéed. Along with the classic baked camembert with autumn truffles, this variety can be used to create luxurious reinventions of everyday dishes – perfect for adding a special touch to festive
dining. Think pizza with Parma ham, mascarpone and mushrooms, or an upscale truffled beef Wellington.
Black Winter Truffles (Tuber Melanosporum) available 15 November – 15 March
An earthier truffle with a long-lasting pungent aroma and a musky flavour, they are best paired with more elaborate, richer and meatier dishes. They go well with foie gras, duck and game, mushrooms, scallops and lobster. It is still better raw not cooked – so slice, grate or shave directly onto finished dishes or into a sauce that is then gently warmed, not boiled. Try it sliced on a porcini and saffron risotto, grated onto braised duck ravioli, or use to top a Jerusalem artichoke and scallop soup.