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White Truffle Source?

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SteveG Nov 15, 2006 07:55 PM

Any word on who has carefully sourced white truffles? Last year we got a black truffle at Far West Fungi but it had been stored with white truffles and we were fooled by the scent it picked up. The truffle was dead, and the counter guy had no idea when they had been gathered.

Polarica has a minimum order of 1/4 pound, at $2285 per pound for golf ball sized truffles. That comes out to $5 a gram, so Oliveto's $7 per gram isn't so bad given the careful sourcing.

The Pasta Shop? Somewhere else I'm not thinking of?

We have reservations for Saturday night at Oliveto, so we'll cross our fingers that they still have truffles left.

  1. Lori SF Nov 15, 2006 07:59 PM

    Ferry Plaza the mushroom vendor perhaps

    and a link to other stores
    http://www.italianmade.com/whitetruff...

    We were at Oliveto last night, read my post below. Hope you have as nice of a meal that we did.

    1. Robert Lauriston Nov 15, 2006 08:03 PM

      Pasta Shop usually has some.

      The last couple of years I went looking for white truffles I wasn't able to find any worth buying, so I just gave up. With excellent white-truffle oil available at a much lower price it's not much of a sacrifice.

      14 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        Ozumo Nov 15, 2006 09:06 PM

        What are the best brands of white truffle oil? I bought the TJ's black truuffle oil, and it tasted like olive oil, was their white much better when they had it (I'm hoping they'll bring it back next year)? I really want to mimic the truffled popcorn I had as the amuse at Supperclub; I ate like 4 boxes of it! That TJ's stuff made it taste liked olived popcorn. I live in Walnut Creek, so anythingI can just pick up in a store instead of ordering would be great.

        1. re: Ozumo
          Robert Lauriston Nov 15, 2006 09:17 PM

          Urbani's good but can be hard to find. I think Draeger's always has it. Not sure about Andronico's.

          AG Ferrari stocks some, I haven't tried it.

          Black and white truffles are utterly different:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Ozumo Nov 15, 2006 10:59 PM

            Thanks! Any idea how much it goes for (roughly)? And when you use it, it would pretty much be a finishing oil, correct?

            1. re: Ozumo
              Lori SF Nov 15, 2006 11:13 PM

              Drizzle is the key word. great over pasta, risotto, scallops, I like it over potatoes, pizza, asparagus, white fish. gGo slight to see how much you like. The cost? I have no idea. We buy a very small bottle at the Ferry Plaza mushroom vendor (i need to find the name)it does last for a bit. I think smaller the bottle the better so you don't loose taste trying to consume a larger bottle.

              1. re: Lori SF
                s
                SteveG Nov 16, 2006 07:35 PM

                The Ferry Plaza vendor is Far West Fungi. I'm not entirely clear on their business structure, but there seems to be a Far West Fungi that farms and sells muchrooms at many farmer's markets in the area, but the store in the Ferry Plaza operates somewhat independently for purchased products and the lady in the Far West Fungi office didn't seem interested in chatting about where the store might get its truffles.

              2. re: Ozumo
                Robert Lauriston Nov 16, 2006 12:11 AM

                Urbani's around $15 for a 1.8-ounce bottle, but it's really strong, a few drops are enough for a dish.

                You always add it at the end since the aroma's destroyed by heating.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  Ozumo Nov 16, 2006 04:34 AM

                  That's what I figured (about the heat). So would that be good to toss over finished popcorn? (You have no idea how good that truffled popcorn was!!)

                  BTW, BevMo has awesome chicken liver/truffle pate and truffle cheese. I go to wine tastings there frequently, and both of those items are incredible.

            2. re: Ozumo
              Mmmonica Nov 16, 2006 01:10 AM

              Ozumo, I bought some white truffle oil at TJ's this week. It's not bad. I think it was $8 or $9 for a bottle.

              1. re: Mmmonica
                Ozumo Nov 16, 2006 04:31 AM

                Oh wow, it's back already?! I need to check TJ's out again!! If it's decent, that sounds like the best deal!

                1. re: Mmmonica
                  The Dive Nov 16, 2006 06:09 PM

                  In my experience, the white truffle oil from TJ's tends to lose its flavor quickly. While it may be a good deal, half-way through the bottle, I feel like it just tastes like olive oil.

                  1. re: The Dive
                    Ozumo Nov 16, 2006 06:31 PM

                    Thanks, that's what I was afraid of. I guess I'll have to look around for Urbani's.

                    1. re: The Dive
                      Robert Lauriston Nov 16, 2006 06:39 PM

                      The last bottle we got from Trader Joe's still had plenty of good truffle aroma when we finished it, maybe four months after opening it.

                2. re: Robert Lauriston
                  The Dive Nov 15, 2006 11:26 PM

                  I saw white truffles at the Pasta Shop in Market Hall last night. Not sure of price.

                  1. re: The Dive
                    Melanie Wong Nov 16, 2006 12:24 AM

                    Are Oliveto's foragers still the white truffle source for teh Pasta Shop?

                3. Lori SF Nov 15, 2006 10:37 PM

                  The truffle oil that the Mushroom Vendor carries in the Ferry Plaza is quit good. My bf picks up a bottle of this from time to time. It's a small simple bottle and I think they only have this one so it would be easy to find. Also, their Truffle & Salt by Cassina Rossa is very nice.

                  1. Porthos Nov 15, 2006 10:45 PM

                    I've never had success buying black truffles at gourmet vendors. They don't smell as fragrant as what you'd get in a restaurant and as you implied, it just felt like I bought a $40 ball of black nothing. Oils definitely give you more bang for the buck.

                    1. k
                      katnat Nov 15, 2006 11:31 PM

                      I saw a sign at monterey market saying ask for white alba truffles.

                      1. jeffyd Nov 16, 2006 01:53 PM

                        expect to pay a minimum of $225 an ounce for the small white truffles, to $300/oz for the fist size ones.

                        most stores get their white truffles from one or two local wholesalers who contract with folks in alba to select and export.

                        1. s
                          SteveG Nov 16, 2006 07:32 PM

                          Thanks. When you say most stores get them from the same wholesalers, does that mean 1 or 2 other places have a different source?

                          Price-wise, the $225 an ounce is about 50% higher than the prices from Polarica, a local restaurant supply wholesaler which seems reasonable given I'd have to buy 4 ounces from Polarica...

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