White truffles: punishingly expensive, its season lasts a precious few month, and some say it smells like sex.
But what is the real deal with this magical mushroom from the forests of Alba, Italy. Now that it is the heart of truffle season, I paid a visit to North America’s largest distributor of truffles, Urbani Truffles. There I met with Urbani Truffles’ Vittorio Giordano and asked him to spill all sorts of insider secrets revealed in this new video.
I asked Vittorio to try to describe the classic aromas of the white truffle, although such characteristics can vary with the truffle. You will learn how to tell good truffle from bad, the most delicious food pairings, the best wine matches, and why wines like Barolo are especially good with white truffles, beyond just their geography affinity. Finally, I asked Vittorio to approximate the retail value of the big, beautiful truffles in front of us – and his answer just might shock you.
In other truffle news, you can find a report on the 2020 white truffle season here.
And watch this light hearted “remix” music video I created about the joy of white truffles here. It uses footage of truffle adventures I have had in years past.
White Truffles in the Movies: The Truffle Hunters
And a hot tip for my fellow food and wine lovers: I saw an advanced screening of a heartwarming new film, “The Truffle Hunters”. With gorgeous, painterly cinematography, the film follows seasoned truffle hunters and their trusty dogs as they comb the woods of Northern Italy for the prized fungus.
It offers a fascinating look into a secretive and delightfully antiquated world. At one point there’s even a “dog cam” where you get to see what it looks like to stalk truffles from the dog’s point of view. It is set to open through Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S. on Dec. 25, though I suspect there will also be plenty of streaming opportunities around that time, too.
What do Nike founder Phil Knight, a former US Ambassador to Russia, the current CEO of the Girl Scouts, and Yahoo Cofounder Jerry Yang, and Mark have in common? They were all recently featured as “Stanford Pathfinders” on this new SiriusXM show hosted by Howard Wolf.
Mark discusses how he got his start in wine, how to order wine in a restaurant, why he advises drinkers to engage in “vinous promiscuity,” and a slew of other intoxicating topics. He and Howard enjoy a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from Robert Mondavi, the late wine pioneer himself a Stanford alumnus (class of 1936, a very good year for California wine).
Click here to listen.