Kristien and I always say that we went into the wrong business. See, truffles are the most expensive food in the world, though it’s quite a mess and pain to get them. Dogs and pigs are trained to sniff out and find the truffles, but the dirty work can often go to the humans who chase after and dig to find the famed treasure. The ends justify the means, though: a 3.3 lb. white truffle sold at auction for $330,000 and a little less than a three-pounder was sold to the same buyer for the same price. Truffles of that size are rare, thus the hefty price tag, but more commonly you can expect these prices:
♥ White truffles = $5900 per pound.
♥ Black Périgord truffles = $575 per pound.
♥ Black summer truffles = $670 per pound.
♥ Pecan truffles = $100 per pound.
See what we mean? We need to move to Italy or France and take up truffle farming. Alas, that’s just a dream, but we can still enjoy truffles and truffle oil in and on our food. One of the best truffle dishes that we’ve ever tasted came from Chef Arik Bensimon at Napa & Co. It was a local duck egg with thick, thick slices of black truffle. At first the smell was overwhelming, then intoxicating. When you took a bite, something changed…you realized why truffles are so loved and didn’t want the dish to end, nor the truffles to disappear.
We’re sharing this with you because Barcelona Restaurants has teamed up with the Urbani Group (they control 70% of the truffle trade) to produce and sell white truffle oil and truffle shavings. Let’s start with the truffle oil. You get 8.45 oz for $28 which might seem expensive because you can buy “truffle oil” in stores for $12. Barcelona’s Culinary Director Adam Halberg has said, though, that many grocery stores add in additives and artificial ingredients to mimic the taste of truffles. So, at most stores you’ll end up paying for fake-flavored oil. Go ahead and look at the ingredients next time, you might be surprised. But, by working with Urbani, Barcelona is able to give you olive oil actually infused with real, gosh-darn truffles. Think of adding to pizzas, risotto, sauces, and sauces such as the white truffle sauce (this is an excellent dish, btw) that goes on top of Barcelona’s hangar steak.
As for the truffles shavings, you buy the slivers in a can, packed in juice. You can buy 7 oz. for $58. Again, this is a pretty good deal if you’re looking for truffles to use but can’t afford to put down a few hundred dollars for a nice chunk. Again, we’d use the shavings in a nice earthy risotto, with steak, eggs like Chef Bensimon, and also in sauces/marinades to really kick the flavor in.
You can get both the white truffle oil and shavings either at one of their restaurants or their online Marketplace. Here’s a list of Barcelonas with their addresses and numbers for easy reference. Now, we’re wondering…what’s your favorite dish made with truffles or truffle oil? Let us know how you made it or where you got it!Fairfield 4180 Black Rock Tnpk. Fairfield, CT 06824
Tel: 203.255.0800 Greenwich (Our favorite one!) 18 West Putnam Ave.
Greenwich, CT 06830
Tel: 203.983.6400 New Haven 155 Temple St.
In the Omni New Haven Hotel
New Haven, CT 06510
Tel: 203.848.3000 South Norwalk 63.65 N. Main St.
S. Norwalk, CT 06854
Tel: 203.899.0088 Stamford 222 Summer St.
Stamford, CT 06901
Tel: 203.348.4800 West Hartford 971 Farmington Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06107
Tel: 860.218.2100 Atlanta, Georgia 240 N. Highland Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30307
About Urbani Truffles USA Corp (Press Release Info)
From its inception in 1850 under the guidance of Carlo Urbani, the Urbani reputation for excellence has been carefully and faithfully handed down from one generation to the next. We are at the fifth generation of Urbani, managing the company and each new generation blends the traditions and knowledge of the previous one, and adds its own unique sense of enrichment. Now, Urbani is the world leader in fresh truffles and truffled products, controlling 70% of the world’s truffle trade and continue representing the best in truffle sourcing and processing: Urbani brings the best fresh truffles to tables of restaurants and foodies all over the world, and thanks to the combination of traditional methods and innovative technology specially designed for truffle preservation, enhancing the natural characteristics of the precious tuber and determine new occasions for its use. Important is the presence abroad of the Urbani Group with many offices and connections in several countries.