How to care for your truffle treasures, washing, prepping & storing
One thing we have become very good at over the years is learning how to prepare and use truffles ...read we are exceptionally talented at gorging ourselves on these winter treasures. Certain friends (with a nose for truffling) bring them as dinner gifts so over the years we have picked up a few tips on caring for and cooking truffles.
So let's say you follow my advice and you find what you believe to be a truffle, it smells good, it's covered in dirt and maybe just a little bit mouse/worm eaten.
First thing to do - place your truffles in a paper bag until you get home from your truffling adventure, plastic bags make the truffle sweat which is not what you want.
If you are planning to cook/use your truffles immediately then skip to the next section.
Truffles, depending on their maturity and the presences of larvae remain fresh for a limited amount of time so it is really important to store them carefully. A truffle that comes out of the ground (and is essentially fresh) will usually keep for two weeks unless it is already decaying.
To keep truffles fresh - it is really important to not clean them (however much you are tempted) and to simply wrap them in a clean paper towel and place them in an air-tight container in the fridge. Find a place for them on the lower shelves on your fridge where it is less cold - you don't want them freezing if you want to use them fresh.
So let's say you just can't help yourself and you are dreaming of cooking up a truffle feast - here are some tips on how to clean these little beauties.
Take an old soft toothbrush and carefully wash away the dirt around the truffle making sure not to wash to strongly.
I love how the truffle unveils its beautiful coarse black skin
Once washed we decided to cut open the truffle to see exactly what state our finds were in. From the outside one had significant worm holes, it didn't look great and my heart sank a little. Raphael sliced into the second truffle which from the outside looked to be in better shape.
Once sliced open it was apparent that we would only be able to use one of our two truffles. Black truffles should be a uniform black colour on the inside as you can see from the photograph above some of our truffle, especially the edges, were already too mature, and had to be trimmed.
So our final step was to clean off and trim the 'softer' edges off and then we filled a jar with fresh eggs and topped them with our truffles. It's best to place the truffles so that air can circulate around them.
In just a few days our eggs will absorb the aromas from the truffles and will taste incredible used in an omelette or Oeufs en Cocotte. The less cooking to the truffle the better as they do tend to lose their wonderful flavour the more they are cooked.