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Aug 27, 2008 06:46 AM

Beware of truffles at Craft!

Yesterday, at Craft.
Waiter says "We have white truffles".
I ask "From where?"
Waiter says : "Alba, Italy".
I say: "Too early".
Waiter says: "This ones are the first, just arrived."

Preposterous. Of course we declined.
I couldn't resist emailing today to my truffles contact in Italy.
Contact says : No way, nothing until October at best ("Settembre è un mese di fermo biologico").

Now, question: does Colicchio need to push Chinese or God Knows what stuff as the real thing? Shame on you, Mister!

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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. It could just be the ignorance of the waiter.

      I previously posted that Providence and Mori are now offering matsutake and it's also way too early for that. The smell and taste of the Mori ones were actually quite strong in a good way. The Providence ones were supposedly from Mexico.

      Something is brewing in the LA dining scene or the fungus world.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Porthos

        The waiter was very clear of the concept.
        The word "Alba" is ONLY used in the context of Tuber Magnatum Pico, he must have been instructed by management.
        But you are definitely right, something is brewing in the LA fungus world, although I'm afraid whatever it is, doesn't look good. Or ethical, for that matter.

        1. re: RicRios

          Agreed that something stinks and it's not the scent of fine fungus. The NYT piece on fake fish makes you think that pawning off fake/inferior fungus most likely has been going on for some time already and we are just beginning to suspect.

          1. re: Porthos

            You know what i took away from that piece? That people are willing to pay for the idea of something grand without actually knowing the difference.

            It is extremely dishonest of restaurants and food purveyors to mislabel their products and charge the client for it.

            In the same breath i cannot empathize with "foodies" who eat it up, pay for it, brag about it and then get upset when they are told they were duped.

            1. re: GenevieveCa

              Here's where I'm not quite with you. I am someone who loves to eat great food and drink great wine. Now, I actually know my wine, so if someone were trying to tell me something was amazing that wasn't I would confidently KNOW. Counter-example, I don't know a lot about truffles and I've eaten very few of them in my life. If I go to Craft and eat an $85 dish with "truffles from Alba" I am not only trusting that the information is accurate, I'm also trusting Craft and Colicchio and Accarrino to be helping me to experience something that is exotic to me and helping me to develop a taste for it. If I'm getting wrong info, that's really inexcusable. AT BEST, It would be like pouring me a California pinot and telling me it's a grand cru red burgundy. Which doesn't mean California doesn't make some great Pinots, obviously, or that Tennessee doesn't make some great truffles. It's just wrong, especially when you're talking about that kinda money.

        2. re: Porthos

          Mori probably got his shrooms from the Pacific NW.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Yes, but season in Oregon usually starts early September (just called one of the park ranger stations and was told this year starts Sept 2nd) and I've had matsutake the past 2 weeks already.

          2. re: Porthos

            Matsutake are growing where I live

          3. The original comment has been removed
            1. actually, it sounds like they may be telling the truth. this website claims that there's an early season, but is only charging $95/oz for them, which seems oddly cheap. not sure what's going on, but it's possible that there are alba truffles right now?


              1. Maybe it has something to do with climate change.