The Manor at The St. Regis Macao presents a limited-edition six-course menu of exquisite culinary fare featuring the rich, earthy flavors of white and black truffles from Italy | Source: Eataly

Exploring the Delicacy of the White Truffle

Haute cuisine often delivers unrivalled tastes, exotic flavours and at times; baffling foods.

Enter the white truffle, a rare gift to the culinary scene. Truffles are a delicacy that first made an appearance in inscriptions in the 4th century BCE in Ancient Greece and today are still making a huge splash in gastronomy. So what are white truffles and where do we find this decadent ingredient?

Truffles are the fruiting body of a fungus that grows a few inches underground. They usually thrive when growing amongst the roots of several tree species including beech, birch, hazel and oak.

White truffles are even more exclusive and sought-after than their counterparts because of their finite quantity, distinct taste and larger size. The most prized white truffles are from the tuber magnatum, or the Alba, which grow around a small Piemontese township in Italy.

The taste of a truffle is best described as rich, earthy with hints of garlic. A white truffle carries a slightly different and more refined taste than a traditional truffle, with a more pungent aroma.

The truffles season is between September and December, largely found in Langhe, South Italy. To find the truffles is a feat, taken on by trained dogs and in the past, pigs. This was over when it was found the pigs found the truffles just as tasty as us.

The complex process of finding truffles and their limited quantity is reflected in prices, reaching up to A$8,874.40 per kilogram.

White Truffles are often referred to as the “kitchen diamonds” | Source: Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong

Where to Eat White Truffles

If by now, you’ve got a taste for white truffles and want to splurge on your next dinner, below is a list of restaurants and fairs serving up the delicacy around the world.

Tartufotto, Milan

The white truffle pasta is the crown jewel of Tartufotto, a restaurant in Milan, Italy. Made from tagliolini pasta and mixed with white truffle butter and parmesan cheese cream, this dish is an excellent way to start your white truffle journey.

White truffle pasta from Tartufotto | Source: Tartufotto

White Truffle Fair, Alba

Taking place between October and November is the Alba White Truffle Fair, an incredible space dedicated to a truffle market, cooking shows and the celebration of the white truffle.

Set in the heart of the Langhe region, the Alba truffle festival is a unique gastronomical experience surrounding the white truffle | Source: Fiera Del Tartufo

Paper Moon, Hong Kong

Serving up a taste of authentic Italian cuisine in Hong Kong is Paper Moon in Harbour City. The restaurant imports white truffles from Savigno in Northern Italy. The menu includes a 65-degree-sous-vide Paolo Parisi egg with truffle fondue, a truffle pizza and a white truffle semifreddo, each topped with three grams of truffle shaved at the table.

The view from Paper Moon in Hong Kong | Source: Hedoniskth Blogspot

Oak Truffle Lounge, New York

Run by two, self-proclaimed truffle aficionados is the Oak Truffle Lounge in New York. The menu is a journey of all different types of truffles, even offering truffles on the side to be added to any dish.

The signature white truffle dish is tagliolino pasta with white truffle fonduta. For dessert, why not finish off with Fior Di Latte Ice cream with toasted pine nuts, dry figs and white truffle honey.

The tagliolino pasta with white truffle sauce | Source: Oak Truffle Lounge

Quo Vadis, London

Between October and November, Quo Vadis in London offers the prized Alba truffles at cost price for take home. The restaurant also runs a specialised menu of baked salsify, scrambled eggs and fresh tajarin with the option to shave white truffles over as you please.

Quo Vadis offers a specialised White Truffle menu, with truffles imported from Southern Italy | Source: Trip Advisor

If you want to bring white truffles home, check out the truffle oils to add to your kitchen or how to enjoy the NSW truffle season from home.

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