Compiling the Truffle FAQ - can you help?
its_not_down at end_of_message.com
Sat Sep 13 23:35:47 EST 1997
>I am compiling a truffle FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
>Specifically I am seeking:
>Historical data - Food ethnologist's perspectives on the historical use
>of truffles in cooking as well as superstitions and beliefs surrounding
Two references and a comment:
"The History of Food", by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat (Blackwell
Publishers, 1994) contains a section called The History of Truffles
(pages 434-441). It surveys several thousands of years of writing
about truffles. It also includes a fair amount of information about
current truffle production in France, Spain and Italy.
"Serve It Forth", by M.F.K. Fisher (North Point Press, 1989), has a
wonderful account of "the last virgin woman truffle-hunter in all of
France!" ("...we had to gather secretly because the Church was
opposed to women truffle-hunters. The idea of an old virgin sniffing
over the hills, with a pack of men hot at her heels -- it is
disgusting to the Church...")
Both of these sources also discuss the aphrodisiac qualities of
Comment: A little while back, Tanith also wrote:
>I recently had the privilege of doing a parallel tasting of
>two white truffles from different continents - the Perigord
>white against the cultivated Oregon white truffle.
>The cultivated Oregon white truffle lacks the complex,
>peppery-garlic aroma and taste of its more familiar Perigord
Are you sure you were tasting a "Perigord white" truffle? I'm hardly
an expert -- my first-hand experience with truffles has been very
limited, and my reading only slightly less so, but the only white
truffles I ever heard of come from Alba, in Italy. And there's this,
from "The History of Food":
"There are several kinds of true truffles. Périgord truffles
are black both inside and out... Others again are entirely
white: these are the white truffles of Alba, the pride of the
Piedmont. Their faintly garlicky flavour is different from
that of the black truffle."
Finally, here's a fun fact, from the same book: "In 1980 France
imported 30 tonnes of Spanish truffles and gave them the prestigious
description 'French'." Sacre bleu!!
E-mail address: moc.suiris at enegreve
<--- Read it this way.
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