I was planning on doing a 'Battle of the Gelato' post, but I have yet to meet a gelato that I didn’t love, so I wouldn’t be a very good critic. But I did eat a ton of foods with truffle in them, seeing that it is a classic Tuscan staple. Anyone who has ever tried a truffle either fell in love or absolutely hated it, there is no in between. These glorified mushrooms are hunted by dogs and boars, are very rare and there are both black and white truffles, but white truffles are rarer and therefore more valuable. I have had truffle oil or salt before, but I am now the proud owner of a spray truffle balsamic salad dressing, and truffle infused honey.
Over the past five weeks I have had about six truffle pasta dishes, and the best by far was the Tagliolino al Tartufo Nero from the upstairs food court at the Central market in Florence. And yes it is technically a food court, but nothing like any in America. At the Central Market they use the fresh ingredients that are sold below in the actual market and there are different sections selling fresh pasta, baked goods, brick oven pizza, meat dishes, vegetarian foods, wine and appetizers, and of course truffle dishes. I have tried three of the truffle pasta dishes from the Market, and all of them are fantastic, but the Tagliolino al Tartufo Nero is a perfect mix of truffle flavor, black truffle shavings on top, and buttery sauce. This area of the Market also has a great breakfast sandwich with a truffle frittata, lettuce, and light balsamic vinegar dressing. A lighter pasta option that still has truffle is the spaghetti with zucchini flower, prawn and tomatoes from Za Za’s just outside the Central Market. It only has truffles shaved on top, so it is not as rich as a full on truffle dish. In Siena I tried a salad with Truffle and Balsamic, and it was very flavorful and rich, but still technically a salad, so it’s a win win.
Truffles are amazing in pasta, salad, sandwiches, cheese, and the jury is still out on the honey, but regardless truffles are heavenly.