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How to enjoy the expensive, luxurious taste of truffles for only a few bucks!

December 11, 2009

I love the Ferry Building Market in San Francisco. They have done such a brilliant job of having a seven-day a week gourmet palace and then the outdoor farmers market on the weekend. I love to start at one end of the building and taste my way to the other end.

On my last visit I stopped at Far West Fungi. These people are so knowledgeable on all things mushrooms. They are great to talk to. They even sell mushroom farms! It is a little portable “farm” you can take home and get a few harvests of mushrooms over the course of several weeks. The gem I bought this time was their “Truffle & Salt” product. It is a sea salt mixed with 5% real truffle. As you probably know truffles are a subterranean fungus that grow under trees and are sniffed out by dogs (pigs were also used historically). They have an earthy, deep flavor that starts off with a hint of a mushroom quality but then goes so much deeper. The smell itself makes your mouth water before you eat them. It is like an aphrodisiac! If you have ever had fresh truffles shaved over a simple pasta with olive oil you know what I am talking about!!

Ok, back to the salt. Even though there is a small amount of truffle in this salt it permeates the salt and has the most authentic smell of any of these types of products I have tried. Often times the synthetic truffle oils are almost overwhelming. The smell can become too strong and fake. This product has struck the perfect balance. I sautéed sliced shitake mushrooms in olive oil until they gave in and became soft and golden. I seasoned them with this truffle salt and served them on a crostini with a touch of crescenza cheese (rich, creamy Italian cow’s milk cheese that tastes like Gorgonzola without the blue. Spreadable, heavenly). It was decadent and inexpensive! You could also shave a touch of fresh parmesan over them and or serve them on creamy polenta. Whether you are a truffle fiend or new to the game this salt is a great way to experience one of nature’s most precious culinary treats. The jar costs $25 but will last you a long, long time. Enjoy!

Eat well, Enjoy life, Be happy

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