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Keithstg
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My wife surprised me tonight with a Christmas gift of two small white truffles. Unfortunately, they arrived after we had eaten dinner. As we are leaving tomorrow for the holidays - I was wondering how long the truffles would keep in the refrigerator. Will they last until the 26th?

Any response would be appreciated - thanks!

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My wife surprised me tonight with a Christmas gift of two small white truffles. Unfortunately, they arrived after we had eaten dinner. As we are leaving tomorrow for the holidays - I was wondering how long the truffles would keep in the refrigerator. Will they last until the 26th?

Any response would be appreciated - thanks!

Here is some info. Hope it works out. I also read on a couple of sites that they freeze well too. Good luck!

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Here is some info.  Hope it works out.  I also read on a couple of sites that they freeze well too.  Good luck!

Do not freeze them! pack them in an airtight container with a slightly, very slightly damp paper towel. Put them in the fridge they'll last till the 26th, but everyday they lose a little potency. bon chance

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Do not freeze them! pack them in an airtight container with a slightly, very slightly damp paper towel. Put them in the fridge they'll last till the 26th, but everyday they lose a little potency. bon chance

Thanks very much for your suggestions (Mdt and Brendan). They did make it until the 26th, and were fantastic last night. I did notice that they were less potent than when I received them, however. I used the truffles in risotto last night, and then with eggs this morning.

Thanks again for the storage advice!

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A friend returned from a trip to Italy and presented me with a gift of two truffles. They were separately wrapped in paper, in two vacuum packages. I opened one of the packages this morning, and the truffle inside is black, about the circumference of a flattened lime. It has a delicious aroma, not at all garlic-y, like the aroma of truffle oil that I am accustomed to.

I have never before had the opportunity of cooking with a fresh truffle, and I don't want to squander it.

Help me out, you guys. WWJD? (what would Julia do?) Or you?

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Keller has a recipe for a truffle risotto that is excellent and simple. Just make risotto with a mushroom stock, finish it with whipped cream, a bit of truffle oil and, if you're in the mood, parmesan. Slice truffles on top and eat.

I think scrambled eggs with truffles is traditionally done the French way, by slowly stirring the eggs over a pot of boiling water, which warms the truffles slowly and gives the flavor a little time to spread around.

Once Mrs. B gave me a bunch of truffles for Christmas and I made a Pommes Anna with layer of sliced triffle in between the potatoes, and served it with lamb chops topped with a simple truffle/red wine/stock sauce (this was after having the risotto first course). It was pretty damn good.

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Send them down to the equator where they can be fired as cannonballs.

I might do that with a burrito from California Tortilla, but I think these truffles deserve a bit more respect. We are currently discussing with anticipatory deliciousness the other suggestions above. Thanks!

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:P -->

QUOTE(Mrs. B @ Dec 21 2006, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just returned from Spring Valley Balducci's. Truffles may be ordered with 72 hours notice. White from the Piedmont - 2888/lb and Black from Mt. Ventoux - 1250/lb. Contact Gloria the cheese dept. mgr. Now I don't know which to order. Waitman feels that the white's we've purchased and served at home are not worth the uptick in price. I am still having naughty thoughts about the whites we had on the pizza at CityZen last month. Think I will go with black and maybe donate the difference to Second Harvest of Central Kitchen so I don't feel so guilty.

In addition to the eleemosynary aspects of the decision to go with the black truffles, it could also be noted that past experiments with truffles at home have almost always favored the black truffles than the whites -- which have come out tasting like expensive cardboard more than once.

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:P --><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Mrs. B @ Dec 21 2006, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Just returned from Spring Valley Balducci's. Truffles may be ordered with 72 hours notice. White from the Piedmont - 2888/lb and Black from Mt. Ventoux - 1250/lb. Contact Gloria the cheese dept. mgr. Now I don't know which to order. Waitman feels that the white's we've purchased and served at home are not worth the uptick in price. I am still having naughty thoughts about the whites we had on the pizza at CityZen last month. Think I will go with black and maybe donate the difference to Second Harvest of Central Kitchen so I don't feel so guilty.

In addition to the eleemosynary aspects of the decision to go with the black truffles, it could also be noted that past experiments with truffles at home have almost always favored the black truffles than the whites -- which have come out tasting like expensive cardboard more than once.

White truffles are usually eaten raw, typically shaved atop a dish, correct?

Cardboard?! I would be mighty angry with the supplier if that was the case.

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One of the best meals I've ever had in late December involved one course after another with dishes flecked with black truffles. A tiny roast chicken with black truffles tucked under the skin and studding the crisp surface.... This was in the countryside way outside of Florence in a small restaurant run upstairs in the home of an Italian husband and his American or Scottish wife--or vice versa.

I have also enjoyed a wonderful burrata at Dino's, flown in from Naples that morning.

I wonder, though, as much as lots of college-tuition money and a connection to the kitchen of one of this area's best restaurants might help you acquire really good truffles, if there might be something to locavorism in this case. A generous pile of the more costly mushrooms grown in Pennsylvania could be special, depending on your plans for preparing fungus.

I don't know if the mushroom suppliers are showing up at the Dupont market on December 24 (which is operating both the 24 & the 31st, if an hour later on the latter). I was disappointed with King's Oysters that I bought at Whole Foods; they weren't as flavorful as the ones at the market. The quality may depend on the day of the week and I am sure WF & the market are not the only places to shop for them.

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White truffles are usually eaten raw, typically shaved atop a dish, correct?

Cardboard?! I would be mighty angry with the supplier if that was the case.

Once the supplier was my friend Dan, so complaining to him would have been ungracious, the second time they were better, though not what they have been at Il Laboratorio or CityZen. Unfortunately, I haven't had enough truffling experience to cast blame about. Were they mishandled? Shaved too thick? Are truffles the fish of the fungus world, wonderful when bought off the boat by a well-connected chef, but aging quickly and badly under the flourescent lights of Fresh Fields? I like to be confident before I raise a ruckus. Plus, it's not like there were any left to return and -- as been pointed out repeatedly, it's a bit disingenuous to complaing after you've eaten them.

One of the best meals I've ever had in late December involved one course after another with dishes flecked with black truffles. A tiny roast chicken with black truffles tucked under the skin and studding the crisp surface.... This was in the countryside way outside of Florence in a small restaurant run upstairs in the home of an Italian husband and his American or Scottish wife--or vice versa.

I have also enjoyed a wonderful burrata at Dino's, flown in from Naples that morning.

I wonder, though, as much as lots of college-tuition money and a connection to the kitchen of one of this area's best restaurants might help you acquire really good truffles, if there might be something to locavorism in this case. A generous pile of the more costly mushrooms grown in Pennsylvania could be special, depending on your plans for preparing fungus.

I don't know if the mushroom suppliers are showing up at the Dupont market on December 24 (which is operating both the 24 & the 31st, if an hour later on the latter). I was disappointed with King's Oysters that I bought at Whole Foods; they weren't as flavorful as the ones at the market. The quality may depend on the day of the week and I am sure WF & the market are not the only places to shop for them.

A well-taken point. But sometimes, only tuber melanosporum will do. Besides, we're entertaining the vegetarians soon and mushrooms will surely be on the menu, in quantity, that night. :P

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Thanks for the great report on the truffles. This is one of the most inspired uses of leftovers I've read; the sausages sound wonderful.

*I generally have a low tolerance for cookbooks that talk too much, whether it's Bourdain's silly swaggering in the Les Halles Cookbook; Ruhlman-penned paeons to rabbit killing and upright fish in The French Laundry Cookbook or Judy Roger's repeated flashbacks to her years with the Troisgros clan in Zuni. I mean, just shut up and cook. By this measure, When French Women Cook should be the worst offender of all. The premise of the book is that it shares reciped learned at the feet of a series of women with whom Kamman lived as a girl and young woman in France, each from a different region: Mimi in Savoie, Claire in Tourain and so on. Thus each chapter starts with a little story about the women and their impossibly picturesque hearths, tales of mushroom-gathering and cheese-making and so on, and is followed up by a series of regional recipes. Somehow Kamman -- whom one suspects takes no prisoners and is fun to drink with -- spins these tales without using eye-rolling levels of treacle. The recipes are excellent, while also serving as a basic primer on the differences of French regional cooking. And, if you like a little backstory with your cookbook, it may be perfect.

I happen to love the writing in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, though my favorite is the story of the drunk reaching in the window to steal a pig's head out of a stockpot rather than any of the nostalgia. I also like the long-winded recipes because it's interesting to learn how such an exacting cook thinks; some of the fussiest instructions prove very worthwhile when it comes to results.

I agree about cloying sentimentality. Same goes for the chipper, bright, peppy stuff. Barbara Tropp in her restaurant cookbook is just a bit grating in her asides. I usually find the appeal of wordy cookbooks a matter of presentation and substance. You can always skip the introductory material if it's all superfluous blather to you. It's when the author can't write, didn't hire a collaborator, and has very little to say that the prose becomes precious and irritating. This is especially true when autobiographical material is of little interest to a reader who becomes increasingly uncomfortable when it's clear how profoundly the business of "setting up" a recipe matters to the author. On the other hand, when a book concerns regional cooking, carefullly researched and skillfully presented historical information is as welcome to me as the recipes.

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We shaved off the last of the last truffle last night, part of a ludicrously mis-matched dinner, half of which was the leftover Christmas Cajun prime rib turned -- with the help of some onion confit and some bodega provolone -- into G-d's own cheesesteak, and the other half of which was baked potatoes with butter, a bit of sour cream and a good chunk of truffle. After a week in the house and a bit of slicing, the truffle had lost significant strength. We'd decided to accompany this feast with a Cary Grant movie (I Was a Male War Bride, for the curious. eh, but still Cary Grant) and had thus to dine in the finished basement, until recently infused with a cat-piss smell that was not the result of shitty Kiwi SB, but of untrained kitties. Before snarfing down I took a big whiff ofthe room,to be sure that my meal was not to be denatured by an unpalatable odor. The cool thing was not that the cat smell had been eradicated -- though that was critical -- but that from feet away, the smell of warm truffle filled the room. And, though weakened, the taste of truffle rested on the palate for minutes after each bite of otherise humble baked potatoes, the way an exceptional wine lingers after every sip.

I wouldn't spend the rent on these guys. But given that you can spend $200 on a mediocre restaurant meal in DC, or be transported by the an ounce of truffles and two baked potatoes (or four eggs or a pound of pasta), I'd go to McD's one Friday night soon and eat simply, with someone I liked, the day after.

Cheers.

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For Christmas day we chopped up about another three-quarters of an ounce and devoted that to Boudin Blanc de Noel, from what should be the most annoying cookbook ever, but isn't, Madeleine Kamman's When French Women Cook.* We lost a small bit of the truffle to some sort of truffle rot -- possibly hastened by storing the truffles at room temperature -- but had plenty to serve six people with some excellent leftovers. Basically, you grind chicken breast, finely diced mushrooms, butter, cream and truffles together and then stuff them in whatever casings you have lying around, poach the resulting links and then gently fry them for serving.
You know, if you're a very, very good girl, you get to have these sausages as your post P-Funk, post walk back from Constitution Hall to Adams Morgan, post being thrown out of the Pharaoh, 5-in-the-morning snack - sauteed with apples, onions and bacon and accompanied by a damned fine '98 Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol. Waitman, you are officially the best home cook I know.
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You know, those fuckers aren't cheap. But looking back over four meals with a dozen people, all made special by the little tubers(but mostly by the friends I am lucky to have), it was a damn fine investment. And having truffles lying around the house is almost better than having a crumpled wad of twenties in your jeans -- you can effortlessly make any moment swell.

Y'all should call Gloria. I'll lend you my shaver.

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And having truffles lying around the house is almost better than having a crumpled wad of twenties in your jeans -- you can effortlessly make any moment swell.
"Truffles will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no truffles?"

Hmmmmm.

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You know, if you're a very, very good girl, you get to have these sausages as your post P-Funk, post walk back from Constitution Hall to Adams Morgan, post being thrown out of the Pharaoh, 5-in-the-morning snack - sauteed with apples, onions and bacon and accompanied by a damned fine '98 Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol. Waitman, you are officially the best home cook I know.

I don't know if its because I've been a good girl, but those sausages were really damn good. Thanks for the grub, Waitman.

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Start with French Laundry mushroom stock, then add dried porcinis, chanterelles, golden oyster, hen-of-the-woods, and a few shiitake. Cook down in stock, then whiz in a blender until the motor starts smoking. (If you're feeling masochistic, run it through a tamis.) Finish with cream, then serve hot with a generous shaving of black truffles. Almost the essence of funk.

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So my wife picked me up a handful of what I assume are black winter truffles (they're dark on the inside).

I've already taken a giant bite out of one of them (I've wanted to do that for years), but I wanted to take an informal poll:

What else should I do with 'em?

What kind of truffles and how much did they cost? "Winter Truffles" are not "real" truffles in the sense of being the hugely expensive and aromatc types your gourmands freak out over. But they can be tasty, nonetheless)

Heather served a nice pureed mushroom soup with truffles shavedon top (you do have a shaver, right? :mellow: ); scrabled eggs with truffles is considered a traditional deliocacy, true afficianados will scramble them slowly, the French way (bien sur) in a bowl placed over a pot of boiling water; sliced over pasta or backed potatoes...

In other words, find something tasty but delicate/neutral and putt eh truffles on top just long enough to warm them. Thomas Keller shaves white truffles over a muchroom risotto spike with truffle oil and whipped cream, the missus and I sliced a layer into the middle of a Pommes Anna, and ground some into the Boudins Blancs.

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What kind of truffles and how much did they cost? "Winter Truffles" are not "real" truffles in the sense of being the hugely expensive and aromatc types your gourmands freak out over. But they can be tasty, nonetheless)
They were $999/lb truffles from Wegman's. I assumed they were "Winter" as opposed to the less sought after "Summer" because the price went up with the changing of seasons from $299/lb to $999/lb.
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They were $999/lb truffles from Wegman's. I assumed they were "Winter" as opposed to the less sought after "Summer" because the price went up with the changing of seasons from $299/lb to $999/lb.
Price sounds about right. I've seen truffles described as "winter truffles" that were not in fact the offical tuber melanosporum, and so am cautious around the term.
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They were $999/lb truffles from Wegman's. I assumed they were "Winter" as opposed to the less sought after "Summer" because the price went up with the changing of seasons from $299/lb to $999/lb.

Are they pretty fresh? I have always been wary of buying them there are there is no telling how long that have been sitting in the rice.

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Are they pretty fresh? I have always been wary of buying them there are there is no telling how long that have been sitting in the rice.
I've never handled fresh truffles before, so I really have no idea. They're not particularly pungent, so probably not. But they come from my wife, so they will taste better then the finest fresh ones.
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They were $999/lb truffles from Wegman's. I assumed they were "Winter" as opposed to the less sought after "Summer" because the price went up with the changing of seasons from $299/lb to $999/lb.
That's a really good price. Balducci's had them for $1499/lb. a month ago.
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They were $999/lb truffles from Wegman's. I assumed they were "Winter" as opposed to the less sought after "Summer" because the price went up with the changing of seasons from $299/lb to $999/lb.

Are they pretty fresh? I have always been wary of buying them there are there is no telling how long that have been sitting in the rice.

In a word.....NO. We bought two small black truffles from the Wegmans in Fairfax for a mac and cheese dish I was making for Thanksgiving.

Having never bought truffles before we didn't know for sure what besides the heavenly aroma to look for. We should have been weary when they didn't have much smell but went and bought them anyway. When Jim tried to shave one, it was as hard as a rock. When he finally did get a bit off of it, it smelled like dirt. No truffle aroma whatsoever.

I plan on taking them back to Wegmans. Probably won't do me any good but we'll see.

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10 years later, and the price is still "only" $999/pound.

Impulse shopping at the cheese case resulted in a $40 truffle I'd like to use, so I trust the awesome people on this board may have some ideas. (I believe they are fresh--they are not on display in rice as they were a few years ago.)

Thanks!

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Black French truffles can be dryish and hard. The best thing to do with black truffles is grate them with a microplane into a sauce:  a red wine pan reduction or a butter sauce.

Or make a compound butter. For the butter soften butter and grate the truffles into it. Use a stand mixer or food processor. I use 4 oz to the pound of butter.  I zest a lime per pound of butter and mix it in.  Then I finish with salt or, more likely, our silk road spice rub. 

Roll the butter and freeze, slice as necessary. Use in risotto or atop roasted or pan seared meats. You can also use it on pasta with lots of parm. 

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