Truffles have a bold flavor that has captivated the attention of taste buds around the world. These delectable tubers can be intimidating to those who are new to them, but they can add a great deal to your cooking. Knowing the kind of truffle you possess and a few of the basic rules that surround cooking with truffles will help you learn how to use this fascinating fungi.
Know your truffle
Different truffles produce different flavors and blend with various items in different ways, so it's important to know what kind you're dealing with. When purchasing a truffle, or after finding one, be sure to learn what kind you have. Is it a summer or winter truffle? Is it black or white? Answering these simple questions will help determine what kind of dish will complement your truffle. Truffles range in price according to how aromatic they are, so the Winter White Truffle reigns supreme, the Winter Black Truffle second and the Summer Black Truffle is usually the most affordable and accessible, as well as the least aromatic.
How much should you use?
The amount of the truffle that you use in your dish will depend on the aromatic nature of the truffle. The more aromatic the truffle is, the less you'll need to use. A good general rule to live by is that you'll need half the amount of Winter White Truffles for a dish than you would need of a Summer Black Truffle for the same dish.
What should I pair my truffle with?
Truffles are best when paired with basic ingredients and mild flavors. The truffle is supposed to take the spotlight, so pair it with something mild, such as rice, pasta or a potato dish. Truffles also respond well to fats, which help to bring out their natural flavor. Truffle oil is a great way to make use of the flavor of the truffle, or pair your truffle with a cream- or butter-based recipe.
How should I prepare my truffle?
Truffles are most commonly sliced and used to top a dish, but they can be prepared in a variety of ways. Most, however, include thinly slicing or segmenting the truffle. You can shave the truffle with a truffle shaver or slice it into thin pieces. Some recipes will call for a peeled truffle; in these cases, save your precious truffle peel for other recipes to make the most use of your prized ingredient.