La Toque has long been known for our extravagant All Black Truffle Menus. Every January we feature this special menu with fresh black truffles in every course. January 2018 will mark our 36th year with this special menu.
For the last couple of years we have also been blessed with great winter truffles in the summer months as Australia has developed some of the world’s finest truffle farms. We find the best Australian Truffles to be every bit as good as the finest European Truffles.
This year’s crop of Australian Winter (our summer) Truffles from Western Australia is finally here! A mild start to their winter delayed the season by a few weeks but the perfume is finally going strong. We expect to feature fresh Australian Truffles in a number of dishes on our menus well into August.
Next up will be the arrival of White Truffles from Alba, which are due in late October to mid-November.
We only use truffles from sources we know well and have used for years. We feature three species of fresh Truffles; Tuber magnatum pico, the true white truffle, Tuber melanosporum, the true winter black truffle and occasionaly Tuber uncinatum, often referred to as the Summer or Burgundy truffle. Other species just don’t compare, and they’re not worth the money. We do not use truffles native to China or Oregon, although we look forward to the success of American truffle plantations in the next few years. The truffles from the Himalayas are technically truffles, but their flavor pales in comparison to the real thing. Sadly many people don’t know the difference and are either easily fooled, or worse, mix them in with real truffles to cut costs.
We also don’t use “truffle oil”, “truffle cream”, “truffle honey” or “truffle salt” at La Toque. Flavored truffle products are crap, shunned by good chefs who know better. All of these products will desensitize your palate to the true but more subtle flavor of real fresh truffle. Truffles have been savored for millennia but truffle oil is a new phenomenon. It is no coincidence that “truffle oil” appeared only a few decades ago, when flavor scientists figured out how to make it in the laboratory with chemicals that mimic the compounds responsible for truffles legendary aroma. If it was possible to produce truffle oil by natural means, the Romans would have figured it out, long ago. You can infuse some fresh truffle flavor into oil or butter, but it doesn’t keep any better than fresh truffles which are best consumed within 10 days of hunting. Because of this very short shelf life, real truffle flavored oil is simply not a viable product. Commercially produced truffle oil is invariably artificially flavored with 2,4 dithiapentane, no matter how fancy the bottle or prestigious the purveyor. It is simply too good to be true. Real “homemade” truffle flavored oil or butter is always subtle in flavor unlike the powerful products sold commercially. That little scrap of “truffle” at the bottom of the jar is often from an inferior species, and in any event, it takes much more than a little crumb of truffle to infuse oil with any amount of flavor.
For more information on truffles I recommend three books; The Little Book of Truffles published by Flammarion, Truffles Ultimate Luxury Everyday Pleasure by Rosario Safina and Judith Sutton published by Wiley and The Truffle Book by Gareth Renowden published by Limestone Hills Publishing.
I also recommend that you visit www.simplyflavors.com, and www.truffleandwine.com.au, my favorite and most trusted purveyors of fresh truffles.
You can see our truffle menus from previous years by clicking the links below.
2017 Menu| 2016 Menu | 2015 Menu | 2014 Menu