Friday, 18 February 2011

Friday Fungus: A truffle growler? Now that's a thing of wonderment, for sure!

The combination of pork pie and mushrooms is, for me, a better than suitable replacement for the food of the gods. So when in one’s meanderings the tale of Britain’s – nay, the World’s Poshest Pork Pie – appears, the heart beats a little faster and the soul does a little skip of joy!

I wasn’t really sure whether to bite the excellent man’s hand off or just fall on him in gratitude. Dear Reader, I behaved and just said please and thank you interminably. The said man is Mister Truffle on Twitter and he’s setting up a new business, born of his passion for truffles, offering mail-order fresh truffles by the gram so people can order tiny amounts and feel more comfortable about using such a luxurious ingredient at home. Possibly in more “British” foods than you’d normally associate with a truffle. Hence a humble pork pie maker striking very lucky.

His challenge to me was to make a pork pie with truffle.

“I’m just sending you a sample – 10g” he said. After the merriment of picking up a parcel from the Post Office addressed like this, I discovered that 10g of truffle is a very decent, if not generous, sized little lump. How very lucky!

Sarah goes on to describe the making of this fine pie – complete with quails’ eggs – and its auctioning for local hospices. Sadly, this mushroom fan arrived too late to play – and would love to know who ate all the pies!

However, while Norfolk’s a long way off (and I wouldn’t want to be too disloyal to Cullingworth’s growler* king, Paul Ellison), the ordering of truffles on-line is a great discovery. To buy your truffles from Mr Truffle just click here, put in how much and bingo they’ll arrive, Mr Benn-like “as if by magic”! And while you’re buying discover more about nature’s most wonderful thing – the truffle.

The term "truffle" as commonly used refers to members of the genera Tuber and Terfezia. There are many other kinds of subterranean fungi, "false truffles," which outwardly resemble the ones we eat. They are far more common than the ones that are collected for food, and some are poisonous.

Truffles are round, warty, and irregular in shape and vary from the size of a walnut to that of a man's fist. The season for most truffles falls between September and May.

And if you’re in Norfolk don’t leave without trying one of Sarah’s pies – they are my sources say a passing fair pie indeed!

*According to the concise gentlemen of Oxford, a growler is a small iceberg or a four-wheeled cab. They do not know what they have missed. Anyone from these parts devoid of vegetarian tendencies would tell those who write our dictionaries that a real growler is a thing of beauty, rare personality and infinite variety. It is a pork pie


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