Posted: Saturday, 18 February 2023 16:25
MadridFusion 2007: Tasting Truffles with Champagne
It also goes well with Louis Vuitton bags.
Therefore when, I came to know about the Tasting of Black Truffles (Tufas) with Don Pérignon, I decided to attend this tasting seminar, never mind that I had to use my ‘foreign and journalist’ card to get in; there were more than 100 participants in the 60+ capacity seminar. Never mind that it was one of the few seminars where there were no translation facilities and Spanish was the official and informal language and I risked missing my coach to the hotel if it extended beyond the scheduled time.
Truffle is the biggest secret of nature. It comes in two colours- the rare black and the more rare white. The black version, known as the diamond of the kitchen was one of the two protagonists of the Show, partnered by Arotz ( the biggest Spanish producer) and the DP.
It is bright black in colour Bright black colour, sometimes brown, rough with wart-like bumps of 3-5 mm in size. Round and irregular shape is about 5-10 cms. in size. The inside turns from white to black as it matures. It has fine, well-defined white veins which disappear when the truffle is cooked or too mature. It is very aromatic with intense, unmistakable and persistent aroma linked to its freshness. It grows in wild in Europe , mainly in Spain , France and Italy .
Due to its rareness, shortage, aroma and mainly due to the pleasure that gives its unquestionable gastronomic value, it is perhaps the most expensive ingredient in cooking. Though the value varies according to the harvest which is in November -April, the black version sells for over €800 per kilo. (In India , generally the much less expensive truffle oils is seen in the restaurant kitchens). There are over 70 varieties; the above two being the most used varieties in the kitchen.
Truffles are a type of mushrooms that belong to the gender Tuber, that live in symbiosis with the roots of some forest plants. Truffles grow below ground, so “truffle hunt” is often made with the help of trained dogs since the human being cannot detect its aroma easily.
After the slide show presentation, we were treated to the tasting which I had been waiting through, anxiously.
But, first about the DP. It was a Rosé Brut Magnum 1992- an excellent and rare vintage. Very elegant on the nose and with excellent mousse, it was a medium body with a balanced crispiness that made it very easy on the palate. The millions of bubbles danced on your palate.
The truffle was in the shape of a thin slice, cut into a Pringle potato wafer thin slice of Pringle ensconced on a bruschetta made with mildly flavoured olive oil. Unfortunately, I could not nose the aromas much. Perhaps, I needed a few more wafers to get my olfactory senses to open up.
But, the combo of truffle and champagne was perfect on the palate; it made you want to have more, a lot more.
That being not possible, I finished my glass (one third, actually) of the delicious DP and rushed out-just in time to catch the coach to the hotel to get ready for the next assignment of the evening- a 6-course, 4- hour dinner with 5 wines, organised by ICEX.