The first Michelin restaurant I've ever been to was "La Truffière" in Paris, and it gave me a lasting memory of truffle dishes. Lovers of the luxurious truffles would not want to miss out on trying the creations of chef Aurélien Braguier. The restaurant is located in a convenient area, only a 6-min walk from the Panthéon. It is recommended to reserve a table in advance.
So what exactly are truffles? They are not a type of chocolate but rather, underground fungi. Their taste is partially garlic and partially mushrooms - a complicated combination that is not easy to describe. Basically, truffles complement a lot of other foods and intensify their flavors. One of my favorite truffle dishes is Tagliatelle al Tartufo, which is simply pasta with truffles, but really flavorsome! In Italy, the International Alba White Truffle Fair is often held in November. It is certainly well worth a visit.
Truffles, especially white truffles, are in fact among the most expensive ingredients in the world. Firstly, truffles cannot be cultivated. Moreover, it is hard to find them, since trained dogs or pigs are the only ones that can spot their smell.
Fresh truffles are the best but you may also use truffle oil and truffle sauce. Truffles work particularly well in creamy recipes, such as the truffle brioche/bao at El Celler de Can Roca.
How to prepare fresh truffles:
Although I do not remember the first time I 've tasted truffles, I can still recall vividly the truffle dishes at La Truffière. One of their signature dishes was oxtail stew, mashed potatoes, and black truffle tuber mélanosporum. Everything melted in the mouth and the flavors were delicate and sophisticated.
Located in a 17th-century sheep-house, the cozy interior of La Truffière felt like a wine cellar. The staff were professional, helpful, and attentive to detail. La Truffière was awarded one star Michelin, at the time I dined there. However, I have recently checked the Michelin guide 2019, and the restaurant now has only the Michelin plate status. Still, give it a try if you are a fan of truffles. The prices have might even dropped.
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