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Dec 17, 2005 01:23 AM

Truffled Cheeses

  • p

A couple of years ago, I was seduced by the Sottocenere at Mollie Stone's. The cheese itself was nothing special but, oh, that truffle flavor!!! Sottocenere remained my favorite (despite mercifully brief flirtations with a Cacciota and a Pecorino--both painfully dull and inadequately truffled). That is, until a few months ago when I encountered a Boschetto al Tartufo at Whole Foods, and lost my heart all over again. I introduced the Boschetto to my family, and they told me I need not bother to bring any other cheese home again.

Yesterday, I met a serious contender for my affections: a truffled Brillat-Savarin. I had been ready to commit myself to a whole Boschetto (approx.$30, whole), but the sheer unctuousness of Brillat-Savarin enveloping a thin layer of pulverized black truffle gave me pause. I eventually resolved the conflict by buying half a Boschetto for the family, and half a Brillat-Savarin (approx.$42, whole) as a guilty pleasure for myself--and a couple of very special people.

For more detailed descriptions, and a longer list of truffled cheeses, see the link to mom!mom!.com below. (Not the likeliest- or edgiest-sounding website, but practical, and pretty thorough re truffled cheese.)

By the way, does anyone have suggestions for a wine to go with truffled Brillat-Savarin?

N.B., The truffled Brillat-Savarin is available only briefly. In fact, the Cheese Man at the San Mateo Whole Foods told me that they have received their one and only shipment. I think Whole Foods has the widest selection of truffled cheeses, though Draeger's and Mollie's both have Sottocenere. The Pasta Shop in Berkeley has(or had) a truffled Tenerella, which I am hoping to try someday.


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  1. Thanks for the heads up, but the Brillat-Savarin is not available at the Whole Foods in Berkeley. If anyone knows where to find it on this side of the Bay, please speak up!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Oakland Barb

      Just happened upon this old thread. I love Brillat-Savarin cheese. They have both the plain and the truffled version at the Cheese Counter in Market Hall in Rockridge. At least they did the last time I was there, a few weeks ago.

    2. A truffled Brillat is available as a special order by your local cheesemonger through a local food distributor. It usually takes about four weeks from time of order to arival. It's ungodly expensive and doesn't have a great shelf life, which is probably why you don't find it very often at local cheese counters.

      1. An entire wheel of truffled Brillat Savarin was my birthday cake one year, topped with pansies.

        It's very easy to make. Buy a wheel, or a wedge of Brillat-Savarin, split it into two layers like a layer cake, then spread La Rustichella Truffle Paste between the layers. Reassemble, add some edible flowers on top if you like, and you're done. This is the way they make it in the Whole Foods Cheese Department. My friends and I call it Cheez-Gasm.

        You can purchase both the truffle paste and the Brillat-Savarin at Whole Foods.

        9 Replies
        1. re: maria lorraine

          They have the untruffled( is that a real word) at Costco.

          1. re: wolfe

            That's a good lead, to buy the cheese at Costco, and the truffle paste online.

          2. re: maria lorraine

            Wow. That sounds like my kind of birthday cake! :-)

            1. re: maria lorraine

              Fantastic idea!

              I can have 2 different birthday cakes this year :-)

              1. re: maria lorraine

                Actually, Whole Foods made it for me.

                We'd purchased a few wedges that they'd done like this, and thought we'd get an entire wheel for my birthday. It was amazing! And so pretty with the bright purple and yellow pansies.

                Since that time, we've bought the cheese and the paste separately, and made it ourselves. WF knows all about it, at least the stores in the Bay Area we frequent, and you can call them.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  This thread was originally on the SF Bay Area board. I didn't flag it to be moved to the Cheese board because it seemed more about local availability, but it wound up here anyway. That's unfortunate because it makes Ridge's pointer to the Cheese board pointless.

                  I posted about WF's Truffle Triple Creme Brie Cake here, to share my experience tasting it and your instructions for making it.

                  I did so because I had searched for availability elsewhere, and the only mentions I could find on the web were to Whole Foods stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. So folks elsewhere will likely need to make it themselves since it may be unique to our area.

                  Do you use the entire jar of truffle paste for one wheel of Brillat-Savarin?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I flagged it. It seemed to be moving towards a general discussion of truffled cheeses.

                    It's possible that other Whole Foods locations could make it on request if they have all the ingredients.

                    On a related note, am I wrong in remembering a truffled triple creme (either a Brillat-Savarin or a Delice de Bourgogne) at Costco one (recent) holiday season?

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      I believe we used the entire small jar (90g jars for $17) on a wheel, yes.

                      A little goes a long way, though. Bear in mind, more truffle paste is not necessarily better. We've erred in putting too much truffle paste on and lost the flavor of the Brillat-Savarin. Find out what balance works for you.

                      You can find the truffled cheese made regularly at the Santa Rosa Yulupa store, and possibly the Coddington one, and the Napa one, for sure. My guess is all the stores in the Bay area know about it, and could certainly make it for you.

                      I'd urge everyone to try a wedge of the already assembled Brillat-Savarin and truffle paste, and see if you like it. Everyone I ever gave it to was immediately hooked, and it started this huge wave of Cheez-Gasm craving.

                      Shortly after first being exposed to this, and buying numerous expensive small jars of the truffle paste, we graduated, and began ordering the 450g jars of La Rustichella, saving quite a bit.

                      Plus, we use the truffle pate/paste on roasted potatoes, in potato gratin, on pasta, in souffles, on other creamy cheese, etc.

                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        Thanks, the example I tasted came from the Santa Rosa Coddingtown store. The photo I linked to in the other thread is from the Mill Valley - Blithedale store. I've also seen a blog post from somebody who bought it at the Cupertino store . . . but it was $33/lb, rather than $30.

                2. Hi Pia,

                  Wanted to let you and other cheese fans know that we have a Chowhound cheeseboard. It's a really cool place to talk about cheese so please check it out and join us! We have an active Cheese of moth discussion that people might enjoy (November COTM (still active) was washed rind and December is holiday cheese plates)


                  1. I have enjoyed both the Sottocenere and the Boschetto al Tartufo in the past but have not had them in a while. One of the cheeses we discussed during the October cheese of the month discussion ( over at the cheeseboard was Truffle Tremor by Cypress Grove. The consensus was that this cheese was just ok.

                    As for beverage pairings lately I have really enjoyed pairing cheeses with Oloroso Spanish sherry. You might try it with truffle cheeses.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Ridge

                      I was disappointed by Truffle Tremor, plus it's very pricey.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        I love Humboldt Fog, so I just bought some Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor today; I had not yet read this post. I, too, was quite disappointed. It has very little truffle flavor, if any.

                      2. re: Ridge

                        Trader Joe's has a truffled brie that's surprisingly good (especially for the price). My first truffle experience was actually a truffled Italian cheese they had as a holiday special one year at Trader Joe's.