In November, white truffle is the protagonist in Enoteca restaurant, thanks to a special tasting menu by chef Paco Pérez. It is not only the delicate taste and unmatched aroma what makes this ingredient so outstanding; the collection and selection of the best product is also an exciting though highly manual process.
For many lovers of Mediterranean haute cuisine, the white truffle season is almost the longest awaited time of the year. The reason lies in the unmistakable aroma of this tuber, impossible to imitate and unique for each region of origin.
Nuances in aroma and fragrance
The outstanding taste and fragrance of the white truffle comes from the type of soil (sand soil, limestone soil), as well as from the symbiotic plants which allow their growth. “Because of these characteristics, truffles from different region use to have slight nuances, perceptible for expert palates”, explains Massimo Ferradino from the firm Tartufo del Re. Although the Italian village of Alba is the most renowned of all source regions, there are several other Italian areas that have adequate weather for the spontaneous growth of white truffle: Piedmont, Toscana, Emilia Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo and Molise. Tempered climate, rain in summer and cold autumn nights – the climatic conditions of each region give the truffle its unique and special taste and aroma.
The harvest: a manual process
One reason for the white truffle to be a very rare and demanded ingredient among haute cuisine enthusiast can also be found in the limits of each year’s harvest. Being the only tuber that can’t be cultivated and only grows naturally, the collection of white truffle is a task for experts. In Italy, the searchers of white truffle, called “truferos”, rely on their experience and intuition as well as the capacity of the “lagotto romagnolo”, a traditional Italian dog breed with an exceptional olfactory sense. Once located the truffle in the ground, a small shovel called “Vanghetto” serves to carefully extract the tubers from the soil.
“Tartufo Bianco” tasting menu at Enoteca Paco Pérez
At Enoteca restaurant in Barcelona, excelled with two Michelin stars, chef Paco Pérez receives the white truffle from a selected group of experienced searchers to elaborate his limited-edition “Tartufo Bianco” tasting menu. For the selection of the best ingredients, the truffle’s fragrance, as well as their firm and resistant texture are the most important indicators. Then, the experience of the Michelin chef and the prime quality of each product are the secrets for an extraordinary sensorial experience.