I have mentioned before that I have an annual Truffle lunch tradition with my friend Elysa. Each year in November or early December we select a restaurant to have decadent White Truffles. White Truffles are typically served over risotto or simple buttered pasta. You do not want to mask the flavors of the Truffles. You can also shave truffles over fish or eggs but white truffles are so exquisite and such a delicacy that I think they should take the starring role in the dish. Elysa and I both love the truffles shaved over risotto.
White truffles are from Northern Italy. They are pale golden in color and look like a potato. White truffles have a distinctive, pungent flavor that is unlike any other flavor. Many companies sell white truffle oil but oftentimes the oil is not made with truffles and the flavor is created with chemicals. This is why you need to eat fresh white truffles when they are in season to really experience the true flavor. Truffles grow underground near the roots of hardwood trees. White truffle season runs from late September until December. The truffles grow wild and professionally trained truffle hunting dogs sniff out their location. The dogs are able to sniff out the distinct scent of the truffle. The truffles are then dug out and cleaned. Truffles were once hunted by trained pigs but the pigs often liked to eat them so now dogs are mostly used. Truffles are delicate and susceptible to the weather and can only grow in certain conditions.
Truffles are shipped twice a week from Italy to the United States. They have a very short shelf life. Ideally the truffle should be eaten within three days. It is best to store them in rice in a cool dark place. After about three days the truffle will start to lose flavor so you really want to consume it as fresh as possible. At my restaurant we ordered our white truffles through Urbani Truffles located in New York City. Urbani sources the freshest, highest quality of white truffle. You can order online to be shipped to you. If preparing them at home you will need to buy a truffle peeler so that you can slice the truffle very thin. Serve several slices over simple buttered fettuccini or risotto. Enjoy.