Wednesday, July 19, 2006

There's No Wrong Way To Eat... a Truffle

Truffles have long been synonymous with luxury, decadence, and perhaps excess. Although all those adjectives are well deserved, I am happy that this trend of exclusivity is coming to an end. Truffles are no longer only found shaved around wild quail with beluga caviar, foie gras, and whatever other fancy ingredient you can think of – they can now be used to elevate a simple plate of french fries to something extraordinary.

Lisa and I had lunch at The Squealing Pig. Despite the off-putting name, it’s actually a pretty neat Irish pub with rough hewn wooden tables, a menu of toasties (pressed sandwiches) written on a chalkboard, and pretty good gin and tonics. The Pig is a hangout for Med students and the like - we spent a fair amount of time there our first year, so to be honest, my memory of the gin and tonics is hazy at best. But I digress. Back to the truffles.

This unassuming Irish pub with a funky name serves fancy fries. To be more precise, they are french fries (skin on, of course) with porcini, truffle oil, and parmesan. Oh so good. I could smell the truffles before the server even got to our table. One would never guess the heights that a simple plate of fries can reach when topped with truffle oil. The oil soaked into the fries, imbuing them with woodsy, smoky truffle flavor. The parmesan worked with the truffle oil surprisingly well – it’s sharp flavor was tempered by the woodsy-ness of the truffles, bringing out the rarely seen creamy side of parmesan. This is only slightly visible in the picture, but the fries were sprinkled with little black dots which I assume to be dried porcini dust, which doubt helped to deepen the truffle flavor. Being the truffle junkie that I am, I could have used a bit more of the truffle oil, but I was happy happy as it was.

Although secondary to the fry experience and not the reason we went to the Pig in the first place, I cannot omit the toasties. The toasted sandwiches offered ranged from Cheddar (spelled Chedder on the chalkboard - heehee) Tomato and Onion to Cubano, back to Brie and Cranberry. I ordered a Turkey Rueben toastie while Lisa had a Roast Chicken Toastie with red onions, smoked gouda, and tarragon mayonnaise. How’s that for pub food? Lisa switched sandwich halves with me because I couldn’t decide which I wanted to order. Thankfully, she is nice to me even when I am being annoying.

I would now like to raise a glass to the wonderful creation that is truffle oil, helping bring the wonders of truffles to the eager masses. And by eager masses I mean me.



Jonathan said...
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Jonathan said...

Those fries look so good. You have to take me there at some point. Hopefully it'll be okay if they take "outside" med students.