The diamonds of the earth are a civilized person’s best friend. Your relationship with truffles defines you.
The definition of a civilized person or someone who is civilized must be “someone who never denies his Fettucino Alfredo some truffle zest. And knows how to respect as well as insult a risotto.”
He or she know that aperitifs are not aperitifs if they are not accompanied by truffle crisps.
A wise person is one who invests in short shelf-life ectomycorrhizal fungi and spends a great deal of their leisure time kicking through the undergrowth beneath hazelnut, oak and poplar trees.
He or she will know how to cook the perfect poulet demi deuil and, being tutored in the versatility of the nature’s earthy, rootled gems, will know the importance of placing slices of black winter truffles under their chicken skin. Rootling is a passion for the truffle lover and devotee.
Being a truffle enthusiast brings immediate social cachet. Being a habitual truffle user elevates your social worth. It confers distinction and invites admiration. The definition of a gentleman and a lady is someone who knows how to shave a truffle.
A well-shaved truffle is a sign of a proper education and an envious upbringing. Being able to handle a truffle slicer is an accomplishment as well as an asset.
No kitchen should be without a rosewood handle truffle slicer or “mandoline” conspicuously hanging from the stainless steel culinary utensil rack. Nor should any kitchen be without a truffle-hunting Lagotio Romagnolo hound dozing at the foot of the Aga.
Just Cambridge Distillery’s Truffle Gin should not be absent from any drinks cabinet or any bathroom cabinet be devoid of Temple Spa eye truffle, no condiment rack should not be stocked with the full range of TruffleHunter’s celebrated gourmet products like truffle oils, truffle butter, truffle pâté, truffle dust, truffle ranch dressing, truffle cheddar, truffle honey and new crisps.
Based in South Cerney in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, sourcing from Europe, Dorset and Wiltshire and serving many Michelin restaurants, TruffleHunter is the UK’s leading supplier of fresh truffles and truffle products.
Founders Nigel Whitehouse and his wife Omi (Naiomi) Pears discovered truffles while living in the Sibillini mountains in Italy’s Marche province and, in 2021, were awarded a Queen’s Award For Enterprise in recognition for remarkable increases in international sales within three years.
Nigel studied at Aberystwyth University. He is the former Head of Global Fixed Income Operations for Deutsche Bank. He met Omi on St Patrick’s Day in an Irish bar in Melbourne. They moved to central Italy to plant a vineyard and renovate an old farmhouse. They lived there for three years. They now employ a staff of fifty.
Truffle-upmanship is becoming a popular pastime. Nowadays, we judge people by their condiments.
No formal dinner party table can be considered correctly set if there is not a bottle of barrel aged TruffleHunter bottle of white truffle oil as the centrepiece. And some high-quality minced black in close proximity. Some truffle ketchup too. An easily accessible truffle source is essential.
The ideal dinner party host should have TruffleHunter seasoning peeping out of his breast pocket. Rather than a silk handkerchief.
The true truffle connoisseur and chef worth his salt knows that White Truffle Oil only uses winter-harvested Tuber Magnatum Pico truffles with their strong notes of garlic, and that Black Truffle Oil uses summer-time Tuber Aestivum.
Summer and Burgundy truffles are light in flavour and aroma. They should never be cooked. But shaved tenderly over a dish. The residual heat will do the rest. Only philistines cook with summer truffles.
A fairly acceptable umbrella definition of “the luxury lifestyle” must be one which incorporate truffles into every meal, every day of the week.
Scrambled eggs with truffles for breakfast, bagels or tacos with truffles for brunchtime, “elevenses” nibbles, truffle tagliatelle for lunch and Toro tartare with caviar and black truffles for dinner.
Leftovers will always be folded into butter or made into pâté. No civilized household is ever without a pot of leftover truffle pâté. You cannot call yourself successful if you don’t make truffle pâté.
The ardent truffle lover will also know how well truffles pair with Alto Adigo Pinot Grigio and triple-fried truffle fries appetizers. How a Tuscan or a Virginian Barbourville Vermentino complements pork tenderloin, counter-balanced with a dusting of truffle salt.
Grechetto is the ancestral vinous accompaniment to any Sabatino Tartufi black winter truffles while Lazio Trebbiano or Ugni Blanc, is another white wine varietal that works with a truffle-topped pizza. Sauvignon Blanc is a no- brainer for delicacies like truffle lemon shrimp scampi and avocado smashed on toast.
“Our personal favourite wine for truffles is The Merchant Prince Rare Rutherglen Muscat from Campbell Wines.”
A cultured person is one who appreciates the finer things in life. Like how truffle scrapings lend a deeper, richer flavour to portobello, cremini, and button mushrooms. How gnocchi is enhanced being tossed in truffle-infused flour and how New York strip steak just isn’t the same without a slab of truffle butter melting on the top.
Truffles introduce you to another plane of living and pleasure. You must know how to behave around a truffle. And never use a stranger’s nailbrush or toothbrush. They may use it to clean their truffles and would never want it violated. A person’s truffle brush is sacrosanct.
Many believe that the scent of truffle is one of the most exquisite perfumes in the world. A trail of umama aroma is a sign of a privileged, sybaritic life. It’s the luxury fragrance of Piedmont, Perigord, Alba in the Langhe and the Cotswolds.
For more information on TruffleHunter and their products, please visit: www.trufflehunter.co.uk.
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appears worldwide and he has been published in over 800 titles.
Photographs courtesy of TruffleHunter