Fungal infection (White Truffles)
$2000 a pound. That's about what these babies go for. Which babies, you ask? Why, white truffles, of course. That's one expensive fungus. But that's because they are delicious.
Truffle season is short. So you gots to get your eatin' on if you want some of the goodness. Here's my little 2004 truffle story.
We love truffles. Black ones, white ones, whatever. That perfumey smell makes me weak in the knees. The white ones are rarer, and therefore more expensive. Anyway...
In 2001, we were going to go to Piedmont with Kathy and Bob. They are my aunt and uncle. Sort of. Kathy is my mom's stepsister. More importantly, they are our friends and favorite dining companions despite the three decades between us. Bob is a wine distributor, so he's got some connections in the part of the world where truffles are harvested (ie, dug up by dogs and pigs). So the four of us were going to go in October of 2001 to go on a truffle hunt and eat and drink ourselves silly. But then September 11 happened and we didn't have any plans yet so we just didn't go. It's still on my to do list.
So, K & B call and invite us to go eat truffles with them at Acquerello. I'll post more on Acquerello later, but it's a lovely, if pricey, Italian restaurant in a renovated church. We, of course, say yes.
A few days earlier, our darlings at Delfina put us on a list for the next time that THEY got white truffles. We heard that we had missed some the previous week and I spent the whole night sobbing in the bathtub with a big bottle of malt liquor. OK, not really. But I was sad.
Wednesday night. We meet K & B. Drink some fan-fucking-tastic Pinot and Barolo that Bob brought. Eat thin slivers of white truffles on poached eggs and pasta and risotto (Oh my!). Go home deliriously happy. The only sucky part was the bill. Acquerello ass rapes you for those beauties.
We arrive home and check our voicemail. It's Christie. From Delfina. They will have truffles on Thursday and Friday night if we want to come in. Oh shit.
So we figure, what the hell, truffle season is short and we're so good at hemorrhaging money, why not? Friday was out so we just went on Thursday.
At Delfina, we just had them on straight up pasta AND (dare I say it?) it was at least as good, if not better, at almost half the price. When the plates came, we stuck our noses down into the pasta and took a deep inhale. Yeah, I know. We have a problem. But there ain't nothing like them. Then we had rice pudding with white truffle oil for dessert.
I am such a slut. White truffles two nights in a row. Oooo, baby, you know that's how I like it.
"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art."