The White Truffle
I’ll tell you a riddle: it’s rare and it’s the same size as a forest apple. It’s white and its shape resembles a potato. It has a sharp flavour; it will make you hungry right away. Special sauces are made from it and there is a special way of eating it – when served, it is fixed on the edges of a warm plate. Apparently, this way it creates a flavour, which increases our appetite. It is eaten raw and it is cut into thinnest slices. It is good with everything, from omelette and pasta to any dish you can think about. But if you want to have its real taste, mix it with omelette and you will understand the meaning of delicious.
It’s shy and mostly hides in forests, under oak trees, under the ground, every year from September until the end of December it shows up and the adventure begins. Its homeland, Northern Italy is attacked by hunters like treasure hunting, they have greyhounds and pigs with them. It is more expensive than gold and every year it is becoming more and rarer.
In 2007 this food was purchased for 333.000 USD. There is a long list of world celebrities who are in love with it. French actor and a famous gourmand, Gérard Depardieu is particularly known among them for loving it.
Those, who guess what I am talking about, can already start saving money for buying it, as the season of the white truffles is approaching. And those, who have prepared in prior, can go to “The Truffle House” on Madeleine Square in Paris and with a clean conscience, pay 50 Euros for a 5 g portion of a tasty white truffle dish.
A Dream in a Box
If you have been at the festival of colours, you will know what the green tea plants of matcha reminds you of. I wanted to spread it in the air, as soon as I saw it. When I realised that I would have let 150 Pound Sterling fly with the wind, I returned it back. However, the risk was worth it.
Matcha contains antioxidants and caffeine. You can use it in baking, in making cocktails, as well as in making ice cream or other desserts. It is a privilege to open a box containing 100 g of it and if you are ever able to do this, you should make a wish to be able to buy this tea once again.
Die Hard Walnut
I was never afraid of heights, hence, as a child, I used to spend a lot of time on a sole walnut tree, which stood in our yard. You probably know what happens to greedy children eating walnuts – their teeth and hands become black and they regret it for a long time. Botanist Walter Hill also liked walnuts. But unlikely to me, he never regretted climbing old trees in the rainforests of Australia. This is how a botanist discovered a fruit, which was not known back then and today it is a delicacy.
150 years have passed since then. I imagine how Hill is walking in the rainforests. His hands are full of walnuts and enjoy them one by one. However, back then he could not have imagined that he was holding 40 USD in his hands. The price would have been unfair if macadamia nut did not have following characteristics – “A unique taste, a pleasant crunch, cream-coloured shine and rare productivity, which happens once in every 7-10 years.”
Together with all the dignity, the Australian walnut is also very wholesome. It contains more than 72% of monounsaturated fat. Hence, all the sweets made from it, which your children love so much, is tasty and wholesome. You will not be disappointed if you can afford to pay 40 USD at least once. Chocolate, candies, ice cream and cakes made from it have a taste that you have never tried before.
A Greek Taste
In Georgia, where the subsistence minimum is approximately 150 GEL, probably very few people use Greek koroneiki olive oil. The homeland of this oil is also not too much materially prosperous. Perhaps it is due to this fact that the price of 500 ml olive oil has increased up to 130 GEL. As people say, it has a strange taste and differs from other vegetable oils by the combined flavour of fruits and pepper.
A Precious Spice
Kharcho stands out from other Georgian dishes thanks to saffron.
This plant is equally valued in medicine, landscape design, cookery and art. It does not cost a lot here, however, it is one of the most expensive spices in the world. Georgian housewives probably do not know that a handful of saffron, which they always generously add to kharcho, costs 4 Pounds in the West. You may forget kharcho forever if you know the price of 1 kg of saffron. Today, it costs 800 Pounds on a world market.
Already Sumerians were cultivating the most beautiful violet flower and its red-yellow pistil. Later, Egyptians used the pistil and created a spice – unchangeable addition to pharaon’s dinners. We need 200 000 flowers to get one kg of the spice. These flowers should always be picked during dawn when they open for the first time. They should be processed by hand. Reduce the use of saffron and respect other people’s work. Then kharcho will be moderately flavoured and your family members will leave the table more pleased.