“Diamonds are forever” and especially our black diamonds, better known as truffles. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the 18th century equivalent of today’s most famous chef, called truffles the “diamonds of the kitchen.” Understandable considering their exclusiveness, unique flavour, and versatility they offer to chefs worldwide.
The truffle is by far the most exotic member of the mushroom family. This rare subterranean delight is held in high esteem in Italian, French, Greek, Middle Eastern and Spanish cooking due to the numerous divine dishes, where the truffle plays a fundamental role when it comes to smell. Of all the different types of truffles available, the most sought after is the illustrious white truffle that can be found in the Piedmont region in northern Italy, where truffle hogs (specially trained) forage the grounds in search of these extraordinary culinary gems.
For those who have no hogs of their own to forage for truffles, October marks the start of the White Truffle season at the Annual month long Truffle Festival in Alba, Italy, where thousands of tourists, elite gourmands, and truffle buyers swarm with the intention to smell, taste, touch, buy and eat these precious commodities.
Over the years, the Annual Truffle Festival in Alba, Italy, became a ritual, and is attended every year by The Marini’s Group in order to walk away with the years’ best truffles. With an overwhelming crowd and international atmosphere, the festival is a must-attend for international epicurious gourmands. Besides the actual truffle ‘hunt’, there are multiple activities that can be experienced including workshops on cheese and wine.
Commencing in mid-October and closing around mid-November, this famous festival is mainly about experimenting and enjoying the multi-facets that this delicate jewel can provide to any dishes, desserts, and even condiments.
When it comes to ensuring the Truffle experience at both Marini’s on 57 and Marble 8, Modesto Marini stands firm in his passion for food and presentation. Reminding his chefs that passion for what they do, and respect for the produce and proper preparation technique will always end in the perfect dish for their patrons.
The Truffle Festival in Alba
With a distinct flavour and hearty aroma, the white truffle is always presented elegantly, and shaved into thin precious slivers. This lends all dishes with the white truffle present, an earthy smell that will fill the room the moment it is whisked away from the chef and into the dining room.
Regardless of the creation or dish you are making, truffles are considerably used as the icing on the cake, or; “come il cacio sui maccheroni”- an Italian saying that translates to the ‘cheese on the macaroni’.
Curious or tempted to indulge in a bit of extravagance that happens only once a year? Both Marini’s on 57 and Marble 8 now have curated menus dedicated to the White Truffle directly flown in from Alba, Italy.
Try their Pappardelle Pasta with White Truffles. Housemade flat broad pasta, unpasteurised butter, and 32-months parmiggiano cheese topped with Alba White Truffles. Unassuming and delicate, this dish is a balance of flavours and textures that is a popular favourite with new and returning guests.
For a more comforting meal, try the Risotto with White Truffles. Stewed Carnaroli with beef consommé, 32-months parmiggiano cheese and Alba White Truffles.
The rare white truffles
Truffles are rare, especially white truffles. White Truffles are only available a couple of months during the year and are almost exclusively from one part of Italy (Alba). Every year it gets harder to find them and in short are considered the perfect luxury commodity; precious and with every passing year – more exclusive to those in the know. Find White Truffles from Alba, Italy at Marini’s on 57 and Marble 8.