May 2nd is National Truffle Day. It’s not specific as to the underground truffles a fungus is related to mushrooms, or chocolate ganache bonbons, which are named after the original vegetable truffle, a fungus. We’re going for the fungus.
May is not a good month for fresh truffles. The best truffles are gone by February, and there’s no inventory until the summer truffles appear.
Instead, we recommend two truffle-infused products: truffle cheese and truffle honey. Both make delicious Mother’s Day gifts for the gourmet mom.
Truffle cheese is typically made from mild cheese that has been flavored with bits of truffles and/or truffle oil. The cheese can be made from any type of milk, in any style—from soft cheese like burrata to hard cheeses like mild gouda.
The cheesemaker will purchase tiny bits of truffle that have fallen off the truffles as they are handled. Sometimes, truffle shavings are used, from truffles that weren’t presentable enough to be sold.
The cheesemaker blends the truffle bits into the curd, infusing the cheese with earthy truffle flavor. You can see the pieces of truffle in the cheese.
While you can serve truffle cheese with either red or white wine, still or sparkling, how about a bottle of dessert wine?
The European custom of serving cheese at the end of a meal, instead of a sweet dessert, makes this a terrific gift for a cheese-loving foodie.
Other accoutrements you can package with a gift: honey (for a drizzle), Marcona almonds or toasted hazelnuts, and whole grain crackers.
Truffle honey is made by adding pieces of truffle into plain honey, where the truffles infuse their flavor and aroma.
The earthiness of the truffles combined with the sweetness of honey is a special combination.
There are many brands, and some use chemical approximations of truffles instead of the real thing (it’s the same with truffle oil). While they are not bad, they are not the best.
As you consider the brands available to you, check the reviews or ask your retailer.
Truffle honey is popularly served with hard cheeses; Italians love it for dessert with Parmigiano Reggiano. We love it on a slice of baguette, plain or toasted.
We also like to drizzle it in a baked potato. And you can use it as a glaze for chicken, game birds and skirt steak.
Like to be edgy? Put a dab onto a square of dark chocolate or chocolate or vanilla ice cream.
Frankly, it is delicious to eat truffle honey from the spoon.
While Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are on the horizon, don’t forget about Number One (you!).
MORE ABOUT TRUFFLES
A [pretty] comprehensive guide to black and white truffles.
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