Lauraine Jacobs

Food & Wine Writer

Lauraine’s blog

7 September 2020

THE LUXURIOUS TRUFFLE

I am a bit tardy in posting this but cannot overlook it. I was gifted a gorgeous truffle from Winter Truffles in the Waikato last month – the very first truffle I have ever had to play with.

More years ago than I care to reveal I was asked to invest in a truffiere north of Auckland. I didn’t have much money to fling around so I declined to join this bold initiative and often wondered if the investment reaped the promised rewards. At that time Dr Ian Hall was showing the first success in NZ with his Gisborne truffiere, but then the truffle scene went rather quiet. A few years later I visited Gareth Renowden in north Canterbury and watched his gorgeous truffle dog Rosie uncover a couple of aromatic black truffles underneath the trees he’d specially planted and infected with truffle spore. Chefs in the know have bought truffles for their restaurants from different suppliers lik3e Gareth over the past decade and it seems the NZ Truffle Assn has a network of successful growers throughout the country.

So what did I do with this little piece of black magic that originated in Perigord in southern France? As you can see in the above photo, I gently prised the skin from a pair of Bostock chicken marylands and inserted paper thin slices of truffle along with some butter next to the flesh. I roasted the chicken and it has to be the most successful, tasty chicken we have eaten this year. Earthy, rich with a distinctive aroma that’s not like any other.

I still had half of my truffle so that went onto some pasta the next night, also thinly shaved and tossed with plenty of butter and some fabulous Meyer grated aged gouda cheese (also from the Waikato). I am eagerly awaiting next winter when the truffles appear again. Luxury personified.