Last Thursday, we went to Bouley, my favorite Manhattan restaurant. The best dishes on the day were served with Australian black truffles and they were impressive, so good in fact, I started looking for them in the New York marketplace. It is the end of the season, so there were very slim pickings, but I did manage to secure 4 oz of trimmings from Gourmet Attitude, and the delightful Fanny. They arrived this afternoon, and smelled glorious, but the acid test is to see how my cat, Oliver reacts to them. You may recall that said cat has managed to distinguish between the good Perigord ones which he wolfed down, and the mediocre summer ones from Burgundy, which he left piled on the side of the plate.
The “trimmings” are of a reasonable size, and pretty pungent. The 4 ounces cost me around $100, a fraction of what I would have paid for the Perigords. And four ounces is a lot of truffle, so I would’t begrudge Oliver some, even if he did steal last year’s last of the crop. I quickly went to the stove and poured into a pan the fresh cage free eggs, salt, pepper and half and half. I sprinkled it with Parmesan and some chives freshly cut from the garden. This was all window dressing, Oliver’s trick is to extend a claw, and slowly remove the shaved black truffle from the eggs so carefully that there is no trace of egg, it’s all black truffle.
I shaved some truffle onto the egg, and placed on a table, and left the room. I rang the front door bell, as if I had a visitor, and could be distracted for five minutes. I came back and Oliver had not moved. I tried again, still nothing. I put some into his bowl; he nosed the pieces to the edge, but wouldn’t touch them. Then I tried adding his favorite snack, which he ate, still leaving the truffle. This was not going well; I really wanted Oliver to validate my enthusiasm, for these truffles from Down Under.
I noticed that the first truffle was all black (from New Zealand? sorry bad pun) and there were others that had significant portions of gray and white. I couldn’t smell much difference, but Oliver was more interested now, and though he ate a couple of slices, I can’t say it was with much enthusiasm. Well I will try again tomorrow, but I have to say I am a little disappointed not with the truffles which I plan to eat with pasta tonight, but yet again, Oliver proved that there is no sure thing with a cat.