“In fine, the truffle is the very diamond of gastronomy”. – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
The Very Diamond of Gastronomy
“The very diamond of gastronomy“, truffle is one of the most expensive, sought-after and sophisticated foods on Earth. Edible truffle is held in high esteem in the Mediterrane cuisine and in an international haute cuisine. Whilst, Italian cuisine is globally notable for white truffles usage, which are considered the most valuable species on the global market due to its ever delicious taste and flavour. The white truffles or, as Italian say “trifola d’Alba Madonna” (“Truffles of the White Mother”) are mainly found in Northern Italy. No wonder, this “very diamond of gastronomy” is known throughout the world as Italian White Truffle.
The truffle has its privileged status among world foods and is considered “the very diamond of gastronomy” not only because it exalts the taste of even most refined dishes, but also because it is hard to find and to coltivate (the value of coltivated truffles is much lower). Moreover, consuming a truffle it is always a race against time. Once cut, the truffle loses its taste and value with every passing minute.
However and nevertheless the south-after status and outrageous price of truffles, there are some people who consider truffles a fungus that “smells like dirty socks”. Yet, de gustibus non disputandum, don’t we?
Health Benefits of Truffles
A part from excitement to eat a delicacy, gourmets highly appreciate truffles for a great deal of health benefits their consumption may bring.
First of all, truffles are a good source of high protein (ranging from 20 to 30 percent for each serving). Moreover, truffles contain all the amino acids necessary to good nutrition for humans. Needless to say, that is especially important in case of vegetarians.
Second, truffles have lower proportions of carbohydrates. This is extremely good for people suffering from diabetes because truffles have low value of energy.
Third, being a vegetable truffles are low-fat. When dried, it has only about 2-8% of fat which are mostly crude fat and lipid compounds such as fatty acids, sterols, phospholipids, glycerides and linoleic acid. Hence its great for people who cannot or do not want to consume fats.
Fourth, the largest benefit to health of truffles is that they are cholesterol free. It is old knews already that cholesterol is of the risk aspects of coronary heart conditions. Therfore, if one is inclined to stroke or heart attack or has in a family history any heart complaint, it would be great to consume cholesterol free food such as truffles to help decrease general cholesterol levels.
Searching for white truffles within Italian cuisine, today we visit one of the excellent chefs in Italy. So, welcome to the restaurant Ca’ Cerfogli!
Before we get started, few things to keep in mind: it’s not that easy to get to the Ca’ Cerfogli. First, the restaurant is situated in Acquaria – a small village in the heart of Frignano. The roads are narrow and twisting since the terrain is hilly and mountainous: we are just a few kilometers from the ski slopes of Monte Cimone. But the nature is splendid so we just enjoy the view whilst driving. So that’s the smalliest of the troubles. Second is definitely the more serious one: to get a table one has to book two or even more months in advance.
On the other hand, this explains why Ca’ Cerfogli is not only a restaurant but also a hotel: once you are there, you probabbly will want to extend this unique pleasant experience for a few more days. And I’m not talking only about beautiful nature and excellent food, but also about the lavish hospitality and great professionalism which Ca’ Cerfogli is famous for. Not by chance TripAdvisor comunity unanimously characterizes this place as excellent (4.8 – 5 ponts). Let’s see…
Both from outside and from inside, the Restaurant Hotel Ca’ Cerfogli resembles a medieval castle, even if the building facade is completely renewed. The handmade renovation of wood and stone immerses us immediately in a extremely friendly atmosphere. An authentic Italian style collides with a unique and seductive scent of truffles…
The name of the restaurant Ca’ Cerfogli derives from the family name – Cerfogli. In fact, as it often happens in Italian tradition, the restaurant is family business. Together with his family, Ermanno has founded the restaurant in 2007. Nowadays he manages it together with his wife Maria Teresa and their two sons Ivan and Davide. Before that the family Cerfogli managed, with equal simplicity and passion for excellent cuisine, the restaurant Monteverde for over 18 years.
Today Ermanno and Maria Teresa work in the kitchen. Whilst Ivan and Davide are right here to welcome us with great cordiality and warmness. And this is just the way they are: friendly and kind people. Who definitely know everything about good food!
Have I mentioned that the main characteristic of Ca’ Cerfogli is the traditional Italian cuisine? Among the leading culinary specialties of the restaurant are white truffles followed by black, porcini and other species of mushrooms. Menu offers a vast choice of traditional Italian dishes of mountains each of which is completed with fresh truffle shavings instead of classical for Italian cuisine usage of Parmigiano (Parmesan cheese).
So, among the first courses there are: tortelloni with truffles or with porcini, tagliatelle needlees with porcini or morels, tagliollini needles with truffles (my best choice!), risotto with prcini mashrooms and penne with asparagus and truffles, to name just a few. Needless to say, that all pasta is handmade and homemade.
Among the second courses there are beef carpaccio with truffles or porcini, beef tartar with truffles or porcini, beef filet or tagliata (cutted beef staek) with truffles or porcini, pork steaks escalopes with truffles or porcini, omlette or fried eggs with truffles, and so on.
Spoiled by choice, we asked Ca’ Cerfogli chef for suggestion. So we have started with toasted bread with truffles and porcini as apetizers. Followed by two first courses and two main courses. I couldn’t resist! Must say that the truffle shaving is the winning formula to give to each dish a memorable taste.
Interviewing The Chef
“The menu suggestions are based on traditional mountain food culture. Of course truffle exalts the taste of each dish end enriches it with its refined scent and flavour. Our best choice are white truffles yet they are seasonal, so one can enjoy them since mid-October through December and up till the early spring. Today, we are still happy to serve white truffles.
As for the black truffles, they areavailable all year long. Thus each season has a fresh truffle. The same thing for all other spieces of mushrooms: they are seasonal. So, we can talk about almost complete mashroom cycle throughout the year. Each truffle and each mashroom has its unique flavour, hence each dish may slightly differ. Moreover, our menu changes seasonally, and often we integrate the dishes of the day. Terefore we prefer to explain the specialties of each season, and suggest our best choice to our customers”.
As for me, I’m definitely going to repeat this pleasnt experience! Buon appetito!
What is your experience with Italian White Truffles? Share…