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Truffles @ The Pasta Shop

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  • Melanie Wong Nov 24, 2001 03:32 PM
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I just got a call from The Pasta Shop at Market Hall (Rockridge, Oakland) alerting me that a small quantity of white truffles (only 1/4 lb.) had just come in. I'm passing on this round, so call or rush over there if you want them.

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  1. Mmmm. Thanks for the 411, Melanie. Try shaved white truffles over creamy polenta. Simple, yet decadent (a mantra for life?). g

    8 Replies
    1. re: Lise

      I can't afford whole truffles, or, for that matter truffled anything in restaurants. However I've gotten The Pasta Shop's black truffle butter. I tossed it with some plain cheese ravioli and learned what all the fuss is about! That deep aroma actually made me kind of dizzy, in a good way.

      1. re: Brian Murphy

        White truffle oil is a very good thing to have around too. I buy mine in a big bottle at Ratto's - can't remember how much, but it's a great price.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I could have sworn I heard Narsai David on the radio sometime back telling that most white truffle oil is artificial -- using laboratory-generated oils that have a taste that is similar to the real thing.

          I couldn't find a listing for that broadcast on kcbs.com, but in general, how would one know if one were buying the real McCoy? Buying a white truffle, I think you would know. But the oil?

          -Peter

          1. re: Peter Yee

            White truffle oil is an industrial product and more consistent in quality than the truffle itself. Dunno about artificial, although it wouldn't surprise me.

            This has not been a good season for white truffles so far. The weather has been bad and the quality is not great. One friend commented that he was disappointed in the truffle dinner at Oliveto. He has been attending for several years. He said that some years, as soon as you walk in the door, the aroma of white truffles permeates everything. He knew this wasn't a great year when the aroma didn't hit him in the face on entry. I'm hoping that things pick up in the next month or so.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Seems that most of the high-end restaurants are nearly done with the truffle dinners for the season. And the review by Patricia Wells about Jean-Georges new restaurant in Paris also indicated that truffles aren't doing so well this season.

              Too bad. I was working up the nerve to buy one for a bit of experimentation. I guess I'll wait until I hear they're good. Ratto's had $99/lb Chinese truffles, but they admitted that they were nowhere near as flavorful.

              -Peter

              1. re: Peter Yee
                m
                Melanie Wong

                I had the chance to sniff some Chinese truffles at yesterday's Fungus Fair at the Oakland Museum, and I wouldn't buy them.

                Got a call yesterday from the Pasta Shop again that some more white truffles were in. They said this is probably the last shipment of the season.

        2. re: Brian Murphy

          Brian,
          Okay, maybe truffle dishes are on the pricey side, but there are still some good, delicious deals to be found for dishes infused with truffle oil. If you think you can handle the crowds, noise and flurry of activity at Luna Park I highly recommend their gruyere stuffed ravioli tossed in truffle oil and a very light sauce. The ravioli are large and flat and amazingly don't have that all that extra pasta around the sides that always seems to either be undercooked and chewy (in order to assure that the center isn't overcooked), or the ridges are done just right and the center is too mushy and wet. Somehow, the whole ravioli is stuffed! This dish will also make you feel dizzy....in a good way!
          Their wine selection is short, yet fun to peruse, and nothing on the menu will break the bank.
          Also, I'm a big fan of their watercress salad. They keep it simple and fresh. (I hate it when my salad is better off divided into 4 salads independent of each other. Ex. A salad with candied walnuts, dried cranberries, raisins, blue cheese, wine vinegar, toasted almonds, 3 kinds of greens, garlic croutons, and anything else you can think of).
          P.S. If you're a big cheese fan, look for truffle infused cheeses. Yes, they are pricey, but worth every penney!
          Ciao - Nancy

        3. re: Lise

          The creamy polenta doused with white truffle oil at Chapeau! was incredible.