Eastside Road, December 26, 2014—A SURPRISE GIFT on Christmas Eve called out to be put to use two days afterward: four small white truffles from… California! I don't know exactly where
in California; only that they were apparently found at the Farmers' Market in San Francisco's Ferry Building
Many years ago — at least twenty years ago, perhaps more — we had a white truffle from the state of Oregon. We were not at all impressed: to me it had no flavor at all, no aroma, nothing. I dismissed the idea of extra-Italic white truffles from then on, though I had had grey truffle from Algeria, I think, which had some remote resemblance to the real thing. (Come to think of it, that Oregon truffle may have been a grey one too.)
These four little guys were definitely white truffles, though their skins looked the slightest bit pinkish; I don't know why. They didn't have a lot of aroma, to my nose, but they were intriguing, so we decided on slicing them over pasts.
Here's the result: fettuccine cooked al dente, tossed in butter, with the truffles shaved over them, as you see, then mixed into the hot pasta to bring the slices to temperature. They were delicious. Subtler than those we had in October, in Monferrato, to be sure. But nutty, deep, flavorful. Almost makes me want to fight my way through the poison oak to see what might be underground up on the hill.