I go mad for dishes with the truffles!
Unfortunately in New York I do not have much chance to eat them that often. Truffles are not so easy to find and, above all, they’re really expensive. That’s why after landing in Italy a few days ago, I took the chance to visit the National Fair of the White Truffle of Acqualagna in the Marche.
However, what I am about to share with you, my dear friends, was a rather shocking revelation to me. How many times have you bought the truffle sauce or the truffle oil? When I was still living in Italy, I used to buy these ingredients pretty often. Flavoring eggs or pasta with the truffle oil was almost like celebrating some positive event in life.
When talking about the flavor we’re often referring to the scent released by the food or the drinks. What I did not know, and perhaps not even most of you, is that this statement may not be enough to protect the consumer from buying an “authentic” culinary item. These products are often the result of chemical processing of petroleum. In fact, most truffle oils are not made from actual truffles. Instead they are a synthetic combination of the thioether, one of numerous aromas or odorants found in truffles, with an olive oil or grapeseed oil base. This substance is even classified as carcinogenic, and it is just the result of an artificial synthesis that doesn’t even come close to real truffles ‘aroma’!
After visiting the 50th edition of the famous White Truffle Fair in Acqualagna, I really got to know what I’ve just shared with you. I was there to taste different dishes offered by the chefs during their coking shows and also to attend some ot the many workshops organized for the occasion.
I found myself in ‘Piazza Mattei’, the central square of this town that calls itself the “truffle capital”. I was full of enthusiasm and ready to dive into the world of truffles and to discover secrets and rumors about this top Italian fall culinary item.
After wandering through the stands of truffle suppliers and restaurant owners, I went to the ‘Palatartufo Theater’ to listen to the talks about truffles from the local artisans and experts.I was incredibly disappointed infinding out how often I added chemicals to my dishes, while thinking I was using genuine and special ingredients.
I fully support the struggle that leads the National Association of Italian Truffle Hunters against truffle’s frauds.
An invitation to all those who are lovers of this unique ingredient: beware of scams and carefully read the labels of the item you’re going to buy. With these small tricks, we will raise awareness over the scam and avoid food that can even be dangerous for our health.
Tip of the week: visit the ‘White Truffle Fair’ in Acqualagna which will be held for several days, on November 7/8 and 14/15. If you’re in the area, make sure not to miss this incredibly ‘authentic’ event!
For further infos you can visit the official website of the Acqualagna Truffle Fair by clicking here (English translation provided)