Truffles: They're in Everything Now (But Beware: Most Truffle Oil is Synthetic)
|Deviled eggs, with paprika and chives, is one of a trio of truffle selections at The Office in Delray Beach.|
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 value.
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, Atlantic Grille and Cut 432 in Delray Beach; Table 42 Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar in Boca Raton; Rok:Brgr, the W Hotel and the new Mojo in Fort Lauderdale; 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.
If 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.
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