Fresh black winter truffles, also known as the “Diamonds of Perigord” are at their peak of fragrance and flavor from December to March and are characterized by an intense aroma and a funky fruity and earthy flavour, almost reminiscent of dark chocolate.
“It wasn’t until I went to Europe and was working with Marco Pierre White that I first stumbled across black winter truffles from Perigord. We had this huge box of them delivered and I remember the entire kitchen brigade running over to them, going berserk. Once we cooked with them, their flavour and aroma intensifying with the heat, I knew what the fuss was about,” Curtis.
The most renowned and luxurious wild black truffle reigns from a specific part of the Dordogne region in France, called the Perigord. The landscape and natural resources of Perigord make it a stunning, unspoiled region rich in history and wildlife, with fine quality fresh produce. Perigord is noted for its duck and goose products, like confit de canard and foie gras, but moreover, it is the heartbeat – the centre – for black truffles in France.
With the exception of the Italian Alba white truffle, wild Perigord truffles are scarcer and more desirable than other truffle varietals. They grow beneath the surface of soil in forest and mountainous areas in symbiosis with oak and hazel trees. Truffle hunters enlist the help of pigs and dogs, with their acute sense of smell, to unearth these culinary delights – though pigs are known to snaffle the truffles for themselves on occasion. It seems they know a good thing when they find it!
The final month of the year at Maude, promises to be an exquisite one. Bubbling away in the test kitchen right now is black truffle steamed buns, hot smoked sable fish with black truffle miso, caramelized apple king trumpet mushroom, with black truffle soubise (a French onion sauce) and lardo, plus black truffle popcorn ice-cream – all of which you may see on the menu in December. Pears, prunes, endive, squash, scallops and oxtail are also ideal at this time of year and pair wonderfully with black truffle.
Reservations for our December menu open on November 1st, 2015.