Monday, January 4, 2010

White Truffles Make Me Happy

Last winter, John and I went on a food odyssey in Italy. We tended to some gelato business in Milan and then went on a 10 day tour of Piedmont. It was chilly and damp; for some odd reason, I love Italy draped in weather which is probably considered uncomfortable. We wrapped up in heavy coats, wore sturdy waterproof shoes and hit the cobblestones. All our odysseys usually involve food and this one was epic: it was truffle season and we were going all out. After talking with friends, we nailed down the cities: Alba, Monforte d'Alba, Torino, name a few. In each town, we had a mission - find the best restaurant with the best truffles and wine and enjoy. It was epic. Did I already say that? Well, it was. The truffles were as intoxicating as the scenery.

Over the holidays we had many dinners with family and friends. I have already written about Casamento's. When John received a call from our friend Jean Phillipe stating that he managed to get his paws on some truffles from Alba and can we bring dessert, I started counting the minutes down. Jean Phi can cook. I mean really cook. His friends were bringing the wine, excellent wine, and we were in for something great. So off we were to join JP, his lovely smart wife, her mom, his sister, and her husband and his wine genius friends. Sounds like it could get ugly.

Needless to say, it was glorious. We started with eggs and truffles, then beautiful fresh beans with truffle mayonnaise and truffles, then truffle risotto with more truffles, Jean Phi made fresh papardelle with butter,
parmesan and truffles, duck confit with potato gratin with truffles, and finally dessert. With each course was a new bottle of wine. Beyond words.

One of the most glorious things about truffles is that they are seasonal.
You can buy truffles in butter and oil year round, but why? It is the new year and why not try eating seasonally? Here at Capo, we only use fruit that is seasonal: it is not worth it otherwise. Strawberries in February, why? Tasteless and grainy, hard and too cold. When you eat seasonally, you appreciate the quality and the flavors much more. Trust. A New Year's Resolution - Eat Seasonally, increase happiness.

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