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Where to find white truffles in a market?

estone888 Oct 13, 2008 01:53 PM

Anyone know? I want to cook an extravagant birthday dinner for the girlfriend. I'm in NYC and last night ate at Per Se - which was incredible. One of the dishes was rissotto with parmesan and a lot of almost laughably perfect white truffles grated over it. It was astounding - funky, earthy, practically great sex on a plate. Seemed like the perfect extravagant birthday dish for the girlfriend (who isn't here.)

So, any markets, anywhere in L.A., that you can find white truffles.

Also - what about high quality, American white sturgeon caviar?

Thanks for any help you can be.

  1. ipsedixit Oct 13, 2008 02:19 PM

    You're best bet would probably some where online. I don't think I've ever seen white truffles sold in a market in Los Angeles, black truffles sometimes, but not white.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit
      kevin Oct 14, 2008 04:26 PM

      The only whites I've seen at a farmer's market is the Oregon whites, but I don't think that's what you're after.

    2. a
      a213b Oct 13, 2008 02:29 PM

      I know the Beverly Hills Cheese Store carries truffles, but I also know they are SUPER expensive ... much more so than places from online, such as gourmetfoodstore.com.

      Also, do a search for a thread called White Truffles at Craft (or something close to that). I believe several sources for truffles were referenced in it, albeit (again) etailers or out of area distributors.

      Good luck, and let us know what you find out and how the dish turns out!

      1. perk Oct 13, 2008 02:41 PM

        What a good boyfriend you are! I think Beverly Hills Cheese Shop is a good place to check, but they are awfully high. I just got an e-mail from Providence about their truffles. I'll bet if you gave them a call and asked for their help, they'd be glad to assist. And you might try Surfa's, too. As an additional "truffle" note, the mushroom guy at the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday has domestic truffles every year--usually in November. Not the same, of course, but a nice and inexpensive substitute.

        1 Reply
        1. re: perk
          estone888 Oct 13, 2008 05:05 PM

          Thanks. Gourmetfoodstore.com seems to have them at a merely outrageous, rather than a full fledged I'm going to faint when I see the price online, price. It's been a long time since I've known these things for sure, but I think they're cheaper than, say, cocaine. If not by much. And a whole lot tastier, too. If I order them before Sunday night, they can guarantee delivery by the following Thursday - which is good since that's her birthday. When I get back to town I might try calling Providence though. Good idea.

          Thanks again.

        2. 2
          2surly Oct 13, 2008 05:13 PM

          You may want to give Bristol Farms a ring too, although I'm sure the prices will be heart-stopping as well. My dad inquired at his local BF down in OC and amazingly enough, they did have them in stock. I know that you can find them at Dean & Deluca online as well, although again, they won't be cheap. Best of luck with your truffle hunting!

          1. burumun Oct 13, 2008 07:49 PM

            I have one seen white truffles at the Wally's in Westwood - don't know if this is a common occurrence or not.

            -- burumun

            1. s
              simichow Oct 13, 2008 10:13 PM

              Possibly not entirely useful, but Costco has a laughably large quantity of white truffles (2 oz.) for only $549. Very much in their character.


              4 Replies
              1. re: simichow
                ipsedixit Oct 13, 2008 10:22 PM

                I'm wondering how a consumer (single household) could ever use up 2 oz. of white truffle.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  simichow Oct 13, 2008 10:52 PM

                  I would probably open up a flash restaurant, and serve the following courses:

                  1. White truffle shaved over prosciutto, drizzled with olive oil
                  2. White truffle and scrambled eggs
                  3. White truffle risotto, with a small amount of cream cheese and cracked peppercorns mixed in.
                  4. White truffle shaved over pasta in a very simple butter sauce.

                  Who's got more courses?

                  1. re: simichow
                    ipsedixit Oct 13, 2008 11:00 PM

                    I'd probably think about adding white truffles to my PB&J.

                    1. re: simichow
                      a213b Oct 13, 2008 11:11 PM

                      I'd probably just skip the rest and shave the truffle directly over my mouth ;-)

                2. Akitist Oct 14, 2008 09:38 AM

                  Anybody catch Charles Perry's comments on white truffles in last week's LAT food section? Apparently what's available here isn't close in quality to what you can get in Italy. Lends credence to Ric Rios' questions on provenance.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Akitist
                    RicRios Oct 14, 2008 11:09 AM

                    Yeah, it all boils down to the old issue of truffle fraud.
                    Truffle fraud has always been there, but in these last few years it's become more & more prevalent.
                    In its crudest form, it consists in mixing "real" stuff ( i.e., Tuber Magnatum Pico ) in varying proportions with whatever similar looking but cheap stuff happens to be available at the time of shipping. A common candidate being Tuber Oligospermum, which costs close to zero, grows in the north of Africa and has zero smell/taste and similar growing season as the Magnatum. After 24 hours sharing the same box, the cheapos become smelly ... but only for a very short time.
                    An interesting question would be to know if US importers bring this mix knowingly, or it's being pushed under their noses due to their ignorace. A quick inspection under the microscope would immediately reveal the offending spores, but (as far as I know) that kind of expertise is absent in the US buyers side.

                    1. re: RicRios
                      kevin Oct 14, 2008 04:28 PM

                      There's also a guy in New York actually that is a white trufffle middleman you might want to contact him. He provides a whole range of restaurants there with white truffles.

                    2. re: Akitist
                      kevin Oct 14, 2008 04:34 PM

                      do you happen to have a link to Charles Perry's article on white truffles? for some reason, i don't remember seeing it in the paper last week.

                      1. re: kevin
                        RicRios Oct 14, 2008 05:12 PM


                        Scroll down to "White truffles"

                        1. re: RicRios
                          kevin Oct 14, 2008 08:23 PM

                          Thanks, I did read it. my bad, i thought it was a lengthy article just on white truffles. It's more of a blurb. Doesn't even mention where to get the damn things.

                          Also, if you guys are looking for a restaurant that serves them, Giorgio Baldi is one of them. and maybe they can steer you in the right direction.

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