Picture a breath-taking restaurant perched on the edge of a dramatic gorge in a tiny town in southwest France. The menu, posted beside the door, recently featured a four-course truffle tasting for $60, including fillet of beef and foie gras. Foodies have called truffles "diamonds of the table" and "jewels of haute cuisine."
Now think of french fries. Mac n' cheese. Popcorn. Deviled eggs. Dips. They're a far cry from international haute cuisine served in four-star restaurants on white- linen tablecloths. But nowadays, you find truffles in these comfort foods, too.
First, what are truffles? Well, they're outrageously expensive black or white, mushroom-like
fungi, sniffed out from the ground by pigs and dogs, most notably in
Europe, where they are highly esteemed in cooking. Italy and France are
known to have the best quality.
Their shockingly intense aroma and flavor are immediately distinctive.
White ones are more expensive, and they quickly can reach several Gs in
Chefs make many of the popular truffle-related comfort foods by simply spraying truffle oil on them. But note -- with most truffle oils, no real truffles are involved; instead, a synthetic product is mixed with olive oil to mimic the truffle-y characteristics.
You can find truffle fries at The Office,
and Capital Grille in Boca and Fort Lauderdale.
Rok:Brgr and Capital Grill also offer truffle mac n' cheese, as does Pistache French Bistro in West Palm Beach.
The Office rounds out its trio of truffle dishes with sea salt
popcorn for $9 and deviled eggs for $6. Though that seems a bit pricey,
they are pretty darn tasty.
It wouldn't be surprising if you
moaned in disbelief after every single bite of four-cheese pear
tortellini with truffle cream sauce ($21.95) at Vic & Angelo's, also along
Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. Simply stupendous.
Mojo offers an artichoke and truffle dip served with tortillas for $8.
all of this still seems steep to you, buy some white truffle oil and spritz
it on egg dishes, pizza, seafood or pasta at home. Better yet, find
some truffle honey and drizzle it over your cheese of choice. You won't
be complaining, we promise.
Follow Clean Plate Charlie Facebook on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.