Clandestine Truffles

Is there any other kind? Every time I read about buying truffles it always seems to be out of the back of a truck in some narrow alley with hushed voices, the surreptitious exchanging of cash and it’s always dark and stormy out.

This past Christmas my colleague offered me an opportunity to purchase some white truffles from Croatia at cut-rate prices. I was a bit unsure of the whole situation, not knowing who exactly I’d be buying them from, what the quality was like from Croatia or even if this fairy truffle goddess would actually appear. Apparently these magic truffles would even be delivered to my home, I just had to get in touch with the seller via text. It all seemed a bit sketchy and exactly what one would imagine in a truffle exchange.

 Poached eggs on sautéed mushrooms with greens and topped with shaved truffle.

Poached eggs on sautéed mushrooms with greens and topped with shaved truffle.

Luckily Wanda turned out to be a professional that sells to many top restaurants and shops in Toronto, and has been doing so for years. It just so happened she had a fresh shipment coming in time for the holidays and had a bit of a surplus. Once I realized this, I was all over it. White truffles? Hello? Who wouldn’t want to indulge? And my good friend Elspeth decided to partake as well, so what could possibly go wrong?

Well, not a darn thing. It was exactly as advertised. Once I arranged a time, Wanda showed up at Elspeth’s front door just as we were sitting down to dinner. She proceeded to open up a container and the aroma filled the whole room with truffle-y goodness. Heaps and heaps of white truffles for us to choose from, we just had to decide how much cash we were prepared to part with. Out came the trusty scale, the hasty exchange of cash et voilà: I become a truffle owner just like that. Home delivery? It seriously couldn’t have been any easier.

Once I figured out how to protect the tiny nuggets (in a glass jar filled with risotto, not touching each other or the jar; refrigerated they lasted a good two weeks) I began the thoughtful and meticulous process of eating them. First a couple rounds of truffled devilled eggs (freakishly delectable), truffled mac & cheese, poached eggs with shaved truffles and last but not least, the truffle risotto. Those little beauties produced five spectacular dishes that many friends got to enjoy. I won’t tell you how much 10 grams cost, but it was amazing just how far they can be stretched.

Would I do it again? In a truffle heart beat!