- cricklewood Sep 25, 2004 11:06 AM
Hi I was wondering where is the best place to purchase fresh truffles in montreal, I know marche latina's website says they offer them but I know of no other place for the fresh stuff(everywhere else has truffle oil, bottled truffles and such). Any tips??
Didn't know Latina had a website. Thanks for the lead. I've put a clickable link below.
Truffles are seasonal and any fresh black truffles you buy now are going to be summer truffles (Tuber aestivum), usually from Italy. They're better than nothing but really can't hold a candle to the French or Périgord truffle (T. melanosporum), which won't appear until late fall through early winter. Whether Latina carries them, I don't know, but Chez Louis at the Jean-Talon Market does. Give them a call (514 277-4670) as the season approaches, and they'll keep you posted on ETA, availability and price.
Also, in a month or two you may see fresh Chinese truffles (T. himalayensis), often at relatively bargain prices. Buyer beware: they're all smell and no taste and best used for truffling eggs and salad dressings.
The season for Piedmontese white truffles is November through December, more or less. They are fabulously expensive and, while they're imported to Montreal, I've never seen them outside a restaurant. But then I've never gone looking for them either...
Thanks for the tips bftp I will check out chez nino and louis at the market to ask around. I went to Latina today(took my daughter for swimming lessons at the Y) and asked about fresh truffles, sounded like they might get some black truffles later but they did not seem to sure. Some more questions then if I might. Are the chinese truffles anygood for making truffle butter or other preparations along those lines? and where is a good source to get them, also do you know of any good brands of truffle oil I know most don't really contain truffles but I heard there are some good brands that have a pretty decent aroma?
>Are the chinese truffles anygood for making truffle butter or other preparations along those lines?
They're best in uncooked dishes or lightly cooked ones like brouillade (truffled eggs scrambled in a double boiler with julienned truffle), so I'd guess they'd be OK in a truffle butter. But, again, the butter will be more truffle perfumed than flavoured. I got my Chinese truffles from my main butcher, Boucherie de Paris (5216 Gatineau in Côte-des-Neiges, 514 731-6615). They've only had them twice and didn't have them last year. Will ask for an update next time I'm there.
>do you know of any good brands of truffle oil
The truffle oils, especially the white truffle oil, from Il Tartufo di Paoli are excellent. My tiny (55 ml) bottle of the white cost $14 at Latina, though I don't find it on their website. The Urbani oils are very good, too. Beware the inexpensive oils (they don't taste strongly of truffles). And unless you regularly cook for a crowd, avoid the larger bottles, which anyway are usually filled with inexpensive, weakly flavoured oil. The high quality oils pack a punch, and a little goes a long way. I especially like to drizzle the white oil on puréed soups (corn, corn and lobster, celery root, jerusalem artichoke, etc.). Black truffle oil is wonderful in vinaigrettes. Once you open the bottle, store it in the fridge.
It should be noted that, according to several reliable reports, this year's white truffle season has already begun in the Italian Piedmont, earlier than I indicated above. However, I know that, at least in some years, the truffles are available through December because the once I tasted them was in an Italian restaurant on New Year's Eve.