Fresh black truffles
A culinary luxury within reach
About 20 years ago, the Chilean cuisine did not even know truffles: an underground tuber that develops at the roots of oaks and hazels.
Since antiquity, this product has been an integral part of the culinary traditions of Europe but accessible to limited number of people because of its very demanding growth conditions.
The delicious aroma and the intense flavor of truffles are a gift from Mother Nature to the lovers of good food, which is greatly appreciated mainly in France, Italy and Spain. Anyone who has ever tried the truffle will certainly not want to miss it anymore.
Originally, truffles come from Europe, but in recent years, other continents have dared to cultivate the rare delicacy. Our truffles – black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) – grow a hundred percent naturally in the area of the Chilean Precordillera, in the Biobío region, near Chillán. Thus, this unique culinary experience is nowadays easily accessible for Chileans.
Truffles are umami
What do grilled tomatoes, strong parmesan cheese, oysters, sardines, freshly cooked piece of meat, chicken soup, or even breast milk have in common?
They release a high concentration of monosodium glutamate, which is reflected in an almost indescribable taste sensation. As a complement to bitter, salty, sweet and sour, the Japanese call it “umami”, which means “savoury”.
Along with some wines and spirits, truffles, like most delicacies in different cultures, have that special something that makes up a good flavour and aroma. No wonder they are so highly appreciated.
The truffle is the embodiment of umami flavour.
When and how is it used?
Hot or cold, black truffles can transform the simplest dishes into true explosions of flavour. Because of its intensity, the fungus is served in very thin slices on top of the dish.
- Luxurious appetizers your guests will delight on. Serve truffle slices on top of a green asparagus salad, a salmon carpaccio, an oyster tartare or on top of cream cheese on a toast.
- For hot preparations you can cut the fungus into strips. If you are already used to the taste, you can also use a whole truffle for an “en croute”.
- Add chopped truffle to the filling of a Quiche Lorraine before baking.
- Add thin slices to a prepared risotto. The temperature of the dish replaces previous heating.
- You can also add truffle pieces under the skin of any type of poultry (chicken, quail, turkey, etc.). You will see how the meat absorbs the essence of this precious fungus.
- Combine it with white fish such as eel, turbot or sole. For example, if you want to prepare the fish wrapped in aluminium foil, simply add truffle pieces.
- The truffle goes well with any kind of pasta or dough. Add slices of fresh truffle to bread with bacon and you will have a real treat.
- Tip: Stored with a truffle for a day or two in a closed container, any food takes on its incomparable taste. Hence, you can use its full potential. Some examples:
- Add grated truffles to butter, cream or Camembert. Leave it for at least a day and you’ll see how this wonderful fungus wraps everything it touches in its flavour.
- Store raw eggs, still in their shells, along with a truffle in an airtight, well-sealed container and leave it for 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator. Then you cook the eggs as you like, for example, scrambled eggs and you will see that they have taken on the truffle flavour.
In Chile, the season for harvesting fresh black truffles is during the South African winter, from July to September. Once you hold a truffle, you should consume it within two weeks and store it in a sealed container in the fridge, ideally on absorbent paper. Open the container every day, so new oxygen can get inside and change the paper.
We strongly recommend not to freeze truffles, in order to keep the real flavour. If must do it, you need to freeze the fungus in one piece and then grate the required amount, still frozen, over the dish. Be careful, however, if you do not use it entirely, don’t let the truffle thaw.