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A Question of Cost

By September 6, 2022July 16th, 2023No Comments

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. JRR Tolkien.

Whenever the topic of truffles arises, the question of cost invariably follows.

There is the perceived cost and then there is actual cost and quite often, the two are poles apart. But is it really relevant to focus on this one aspect of what are no less than gastronomic gems? Do paella eaters lament the price of saffron?

As little as a couple of grams blithely scattered over your scrambled eggs is enough to elevate your breakfast from mundane to magnificent. Those who know the importance of breaking one’s fast will agree that dwelling on the cost of that incomparable elevation is frankly churlish. And it’s not as if those producing truffles are wallowing in odious affluence.

In 2016, one of West Australia’s largest truffle producers harvested more than 580 kilograms of truffle. From that impressive-sounding start, the Manjimup-based producer generated revenue of $498,408 and a subsequent loss of $879,000. Even the big guys struggle.

Therefore, in the interests of humanity and truffles, let me introduce you to my favourite fungi and hopefully help you get to know her/him a little better. And feel free to join in and add anything I may have missed! Let’s start with the key points:

  1. Obviously, truffles are the best thing on the menu.
  2. Truffles contain 3 different types of umami as well as glutamic acid, a noted flavour enhancer like a natural MSG. Don’t know what umami is? Ask those consummate custodians of flavour, the Japanese:
  3. At three months from June to August, truffle season is too short. Make the most of truffles whilst the pale winter sun shines, the chill breeze blows and ripening frosts settle each cloudless, star-dusted night.
  4. Uncertainty. There are many uncontrollable factors involved in growing the seasonal and unpredictable truffle. Yields can be affected by temperature or predatory insects. Sometimes the truffles rot inexplicably.
  5. For a memorable meal, 3-5 grams of heady, aromatic truffle is all that’s needed for an entree or 5-10 grams for a main.
  6. Truffles, or Tuber Melanosporum to be politically correct, should be pungently perfumed, firm and dark with a marbled interior. Anything less brings dishonour and shame.
  7. Proposed entrant for Reproductive Medicine in the 2019 Ig Nobel Prize . Calculating the effect of eating truffles as an aphrodisiac and being the first natural Viagra. References dating back thousands of years relate how truffle’s penetrating aroma caused Epicureans to liken the scent to dishevelled sheets in a brothel bed. In the Middle Ages, monks were prohibited from eating truffles for fear they would forget their calling.
  8. Truffles were the first Viagra, it is a fact. Serious.
    Truffles have very little fat or calories which means you can throw caution to the wind and eat them in unlimited quantities with your vodka and sodas. And you know what they’re called
  9. Australian truffles were established in the 1990s and the great southern continent is now the world’s fourth largest producer – and according to some French, among the best producers in the world.
  10. Truffles are one of the greatest joys known to all humanity. And animality, thinking of pigs and poteroos …

This is my round-about-way of recommending that when June rolls around again, you buy from a producer!

You’ll get a freshly caught truffle at the peak of its life at a very cost-effective, positively democratic and unmiddle-manned price. Ask us anything, how to store, prepare and cook with truffles. We know and love them intimately.

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