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Truffle purveyors in Montreal.

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chris coco Mar 27, 2010 11:17 AM

Anyone know a purveyors of fresh (not frozen, not canned, not jarred, etc.) black or white truffles in Montreal?

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    Maximilien RE: chris coco Mar 27, 2010 12:56 PM

    I know of one : Nino @ Jean Talon Market

    also, maybe next door's "Louis".

    2 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien
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      finefoodie55 RE: Maximilien Jul 10, 2012 12:02 PM

      Bought a black Truffle at Chez Louis not long ago

      1. re: finefoodie55
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        balbi RE: finefoodie55 Jul 11, 2012 01:58 AM

        How much is the price if it's not a secret?

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      BLM RE: chris coco Mar 27, 2010 10:55 PM

      Last I heard, the owner of Le Latini restaurant annually imports white truffles direct from Italy(the only Montreal restaurant doing it).

      1 Reply
      1. re: BLM
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        moh RE: BLM Mar 28, 2010 09:54 AM

        Yes. Le Latini often has White Truffle menus during the season. I haven't been yet, but keep meaning to go. It sound quite decadent. It'll will probably be quite expensive, but if you like fresh truffle, it is absolutely heaven to get a plate of risotto or pasta or eggs covered with a pile of freshly shaven white truffle. It smells heavenly, and the taste is so earthy, otherworldly,there really is nothing like it if you are a mushroom lover. I'm embarrassed to admit what I've spent in the past on fresh white truffle dishes. But it is really a once in a blue moon event, and there is nothing quite like this experience if you love truffle. I have this fantasy of going one day to the Alba Truffle festival in Italy in the fall, maybe someday...

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        finefoodie55 RE: chris coco Mar 29, 2010 10:05 AM

        Chez Louis in Jean Talon Market has a good selection of Truffles ( season and demand probably plays into it) When I was there he had US truffles as well ( no good at all ). A good idea to call first 514-277-4670

        1 Reply
        1. re: finefoodie55
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          cookatlarge RE: finefoodie55 Mar 31, 2010 07:18 AM

          Contact Macchi, they import as well http://www.macchiinc.com/

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          soldog RE: chris coco Apr 1, 2010 05:33 AM

          Last year, I found some at Marche Atwater in the organic/vegetable store that's behind glass like the fish or cheese stores. In the middle of this store is usually a fresh mushroom free for all, once including the elusive truffle; a white truffle. Cost me ~$5 and was amazing. Not as pungent as a preserved truffle, but the flavor was way more complex and rounded. Also the texture was dream to work with - more velvety than squeaky.

          9 Replies
          1. re: soldog
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            moh RE: soldog Apr 1, 2010 07:25 PM

            Umm, I hope you are right about this. I have never ever seen a whole fresh white truffle for $5. I find this a little too good to be true. A good quality white truffle is usually much more expensive, depending on size it can even range into hundreds of dollars.

            How big was this truffle? It was a whole truffle? Where did they say it came from?

            Another thing, a fresh white truffle is one of the most pungent things around. You open the box, and the room starts to smell of truffle. And when you shave it - woah - sensory overload! It fills the room with its scent. It i absolutely astoundingly special. I find it hard to believe that it was not as pungent as a preserved truffle. This suggests several possibilities. 1. What you purchased was not a fresh truffle, maybe it was a little past its prime. 2. If it was a truffle, it was not the famous white Italian truffle.

            I have seen truffles cultivated in North Carolina sold fresh. Even these truffles were much more expensive than $5. I do wonder what you bought, and whatever it is, it sounds great! But I am almost certain it is not an Italian white truffle. That, or you got the best deal of your life. Maybe someone misread the price tag, $5 instead of $500.... In that case I am extremely jealous!

            1. re: moh
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              chris coco RE: moh Apr 4, 2010 01:32 PM

              Hi folks.,
              Thanks for your thoughts , really appreciate it. I still havent found a reliable fresh truffle source...
              it seems like the offer is a kind of poor here in Montreal...

              1. re: chris coco
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                BLM RE: chris coco Apr 4, 2010 01:40 PM

                You tried contacting all the suggestions listed above?

              2. re: moh
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                soldog RE: moh Apr 7, 2010 08:23 AM

                Interesting. I never suggested it was a high quality truffle - just it was there. I recollect it coming from France. I tried to call the store to confirm but can't find the number; will explore.

                Also, I was reminded that last summer, I purchased black truffles at Marche Jean-Talon from a seasonal mushroom vendor. All them where whole and about loonie size in diameter. I have seen REAL fresh truffles on a few occasions, tasted them on even fewer, and you are very right - WILL FILL A ROOM.

                What surprised me in both these cases was a) the price (by weight) and b) they were stored open air. Whenever fresh truffles present themselves, they are usually sealed and/or stored in rock salt or rice. These where not the same truffles; these were smaller, visually grittier, and only slightly fragrant. When I asked, I was informed they "bleed" once sliced, and need be used right away - typical with truffles – but are fairly stable whole. They really shone once warmed in butter, and while “truffle-esque” and quite enjoyable, did in fact lack the punch we all know and love.

                So moh, don't be jealous, but do try them?

                P.S. Anyone love a truffle oil best? I tried a bunch, and so far like Mussini White Truffle Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (~$20) - other favs here?

                1. re: soldog
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                  moh RE: soldog Apr 11, 2010 03:26 AM

                  I have seen truffles sold in the fancy jars with salt/rice. But I've also heard and seen pictures of truffle vendors in France and Italy where you approach the truflle vendor, they open a sac full of fresh truffles, stored in open air. You pay for the truffle, and rush it home, scramble some fresh eggs and start eating... But the key is fresh - I wouldn't pay a lot of money for a fresh truffle, then not use it right away.

                  Soldog, could you confirm the name of the place you bought the truffle recently at Marche Atwater? For $5, I'd definitely give it a go! Truffle shaved on risotto...yum.

                  I would agree that the Mussini White truffle oil is excellent, well worth the money.

                  1. re: moh
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                    soldog RE: moh Apr 13, 2010 08:14 AM

                    I figured out that the name of the store is simply the "Fruiterie Atwater" - 120 avenue Atwater, Montreal, QC H4C 2G3 (514-939-3035). I just called and asked about availability and origin for stock today - he said he only had frozen truffles (i dunno - never tried or seen this) and they are possibly "from Europe". I couldn't get any more info from him. He recommended I call back tomorrow when the mushroom expert would be in.

                    Frozen? Anyone?

                    1. re: soldog
                      cherylmtl RE: soldog Apr 13, 2010 08:32 AM

                      Fruiterie Atwater is the produce store on the ground floor of the market, near the SAQ end. They usually have an open display case with a wide variety of mushrooms and other odds and ends in it (edible flowers, etc). I don't find their prices to be that reasonable for fungi, so I wonder about the provenance of a $5 truffle...

                      1. re: soldog
                        carswell RE: soldog Apr 13, 2010 08:40 AM

                        Frozen truffles are pale imitations of the real thing. Good quality canned truffles have more flavour, though frozen do have better texture than canned.

                        If you're after a serious truffle experience, you should wait until late fall or early winter and buy fresh black Périgord truffles (Tuber melanosporum) from France or fresh white Alba truffles (T. magnatum) from Italy. Yes, you'll be deferring your pleasure by six or eight months. But you'll also have plenty of time to save, take out a second mortgage, sell your firstborn, etc.

                        If buying canned black truffles, look for T. melanosporum. Most are the inferior summer truffle (T. aestivum or T. unicinatum). You'll sometimes see fresh summer truffles in stores, which, while nowhere near as aromatic or flavourful as Périgord truffles, are far superior to their Chinese (T. sinensis) and Himalayan (T. himalayensis) counterparts.

                        1. re: carswell
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                          soldog RE: carswell Apr 13, 2010 04:27 PM

                          Damn. Thanks. Nice to have a culinary genus breakdown.

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                The Chemist RE: chris coco Apr 8, 2010 12:10 PM

                Be on the look out for the Chinese truffle which is popping up more and more this year and can be found in batches of supposedly French or Italian truffles... They seem to be used like 'cut' by some suppliers. It's a different species but is almost indistinguishable visually. I bought a few of these (on purpose) to see how they performed. The smell is different from the European truffles that I have tried. I would describe it as almost blue cheese like and a tad chemically (a smell I am familiar with =D). It's a strong smell, but wouldn't fill a room. Upon cooking, the smell seems to dissipate and the flavor is very subtle. I bought two of these truffles which were both about 2 cm in diameter for about $8. Not overly impressed. For $8, I can add a lot more good flavor to a dish than what these truffles afford.

                As for truffle oil, the vast majority is just olive oil flavoured with 2,4-dithiapentane... I'm not against synthetic flavorings in general, but when it's advertised as truffle, it should be truffle.

                1 Reply
                1. re: The Chemist
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                  jtothe RE: The Chemist Apr 11, 2010 02:50 PM

                  I was quite disapointed with these Chinese truffles as well. I believe the one I had were from Tibet. I prepared it with fresh parpadelle pasta and salted butter. The truffle itself had very limited flavour.

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