French writer Alexandre Dumas wrote, “The most learned men have been questioned as to the nature of this tuber, and after two thousand years of argument and discussion their answer is the same as it was on the first day: We do not know. The truffles themselves have been interrogated, and have answered simply: Eat us and praise the Lord.”
For many truffle lovers you may notice that truffles are transported all over the globe but, I say but, and I mean it because truffles are never the same when they are transported. The reason is not for any other reason than, a truffle is a living organism, it comes from the ground. It sucks the life from under trees, surrounded by “terroir” their host plant. Contained within the sap are the nutrients the plant extracts from the earth and gives the truffles their distinctive perfume, taste and color.
So when a truffle is bound for the United States, it gets washed and dusted to protect it from any kind of nasty parasites or bacterial growths that could negatively affect the agriculture there. This process is common, the soils are washed away, the truffle is cleaned and it gets ready to be shipped.
There is no doubt in my mind that once a truffle is cleaned, it should be consumed. In my opinion even when the dirt remains, a truffle is best before three days at most. When you eat a truffle in a restaurant it can be aromatic but the chances are the kitchen is sneaking some truffle oil into the risotto to brighten it up. Of course the better kitchens never think to do it, it is sac religious. Pay careful attention a restaurant’s risotto, it should not have any aroma until the truffle is shaved a top, and if you smell truffle before hand, it is a rip off!
Here is the process;
Step #1 – take the muddy truffles.
Step #2 – they are washed and dried.
Step #3 – they are dusted with a powder to help them for travel.
Step #4 – take out your wallet and pay :-).