Cooking Issues Transcript

Episode 277: The Trouble with Truffles

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where am I today says Bushwick Brooklyn why you forgot to say bubba bubba bubba

so we have as usual in the studio with a hammer Lopez fan. We got there a Dave in the booth how you doing today I'm doing a review

hello hey so we have a special guest today Charles dr. Charles LeFevre even though it's written Frenchy style v but you go by Lefevre

American you know everyone here knows I appreciate and Professor the fever or doctor the fever is the world's Authority on specifically on Oregon truffles but all things truffle he is a you're my colleges correct specialty with in mycology that deals with truffles

you can make one up there truffle ologist philologist how do you like to be referred to by the way

calling all of your truffle related questions now as I said he had a company where he grows cultivates European Alanis forums in Oregon as well as collects the local domestic Oregon truffle varieties and searches all over the country and the world for new interesting unused whether they taste good whether they don't I varieties are truffles so you can call in any any and all all truffle the way they're probably any mushroom mycological questions to 718-497-2128 that's 718-497-2128 so let's get let's get started right away and let's talk about it I want you to give them by the way our listeners hear the cooking issues is not afraid of a technical jargon or complexities or anything like hold back or anything basically explain what a truffle is

what is a truffle a mushroom

and but unlike other mushrooms they depend on animals to the Spurs or so we're getting them for their dispersal why they're getting in the forest. It's cold as glad it's dark and they have to somehow find them so they can eat them and ground and they're like that the fruiting body of these these funguses that fungi that live in close proximity to certain tree roots right

Patrick the only they don't grow with the tree for its entire life right. You have to find like a like a specific like this particular one likes to live in trees that are between like 15 and 50 years old and it like all weird and crazy like this there is ecological succession on the roots of an individual tree so yes it's very very young tree

youngest trees that have been 3 years old like trees with that if an inoculated with the sports or no just so you know whenever I say Spore anastacio my co-host Coast here at like she could test the words for maybe you can make her not hate the words for so much you can think of a sport as a seed better sell the right one of you so much to deal with Iran on the trouble so let's go back to the show all truffles because they all live underground how far underground are we talkin

anywhere from actually on the surface where you can see them to three or four feet deep three or four feet can a dog smell three or four feet deep Italian white truffles with found 3 ft deep is there any difference in taste between like in a particular region so assuming there's a terroir for a reason with him and have you talked about him is there any relationship between size and depth and flavor variation in flavored from one travel from the next to the next place then there are between Place really

you take up one that you've harvested in in Oregon and you were to somehow take one it was harvested in friends and then fly to some point in the middle so they each were out of the dirt for the exact same length of time and they were the same you know relative size and whatever would there be a big difference in flavor between the two that were grown in different areas assuming they were on the same kind of tree substrate

so far nobody has shown that there is a difference between truffles grown in this there's a perceived difference like the truffles from paragard are the most expensive you would assume that people have figured out tests for faking it right because there's a lot of money involved is it but it look like is it one of these things where it's very hard to tell the difference between where they come from and so you can have people selling one item is another and and Providence just become something you have to kind of take on faith or

absolutely I do you know there's a difference between fooling an expert and fooling you know relative novice right so when you're faking an old Bordeaux you just have to get close to faking your bored when you're going to 99% of the people are going to be able to tell the difference but sometimes I can sometimes I can't and it has to be done with you with actual analysis but you're saying even experience expert truffle eaters and cookers and prepares probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between much say a Spanish to Atlantis ballroom and an actual French one

probably could not reliably tell where the trouble to come from shape and color does vary from one place to another so it's a tribute that to to local conditions or to basically like almost being or not cultivars does not cultivated Variety in other words

I think it's more like local conditions found compacted soil is Huarache the soil is truffles ranked no matter what they are they all have me how do you describe the role funky right so she likes almost there not the majority of them are supposed to be found by rodents things like rodents could be flies or slugs or rodents or mammals are there even even know dogs are carnivores they happen to have good nose is there not painting at carnivores

let jannati truffles are not the one but why is it that I mean anything by the way you train people how to train their dogs right where do you sent me some able to train my my black lab that my smaller dog hasn't got taken to training in dental school to train major big dog to find truffle oil anywhere in my yard if I was able to find any troubles on my on my property anywhere but my professor also sent me for Charles also sent me some Oregon Truffles and we'll talk about the minute. Find the shavings on the outside of it all over my apartment it's not like it's not rocket science if you have a good dog with a good nose you can follow basic commands you can train them to go look for truffles on your property

that's the tritons very easy question is why would something that smells animal e attract non carnivores herbivores it seems strange if I was going to attract dinner before if I want to track that flies I get right you want to have some sort of like weird funky animal carrying something right some process of something doing something funky butt with we like a mouse like what the heck why wouldn't it give off some sort of like delicious carrot smell or some sort of like something that you think would attract an herbivore why is it give off these kind of animal Note 7 Little Words my point is that the animals looking for something other than food boom boom boom but then they find it there like I can eat this thing and they eat it I mean what do you think

I think it's very likely the Truffles and the Animals evolve and at different truffles are widely different from each other some of them probably wear in the temperature when you find out in the in the Triforce of a tree line some beautiful setting

it's an amazing experience near Portland Oregon near that area next week is the Oregon truffle Festival that actually you host Charles that I'm going to be going to along with Peter Meehan from Lucky Peach and Harold McGee we're all going together we're going to go out and find truffles and cook with Truffles and eat with Truffles and it's a it's a grand old time and I'm actually get to meet him in person but so when you're talkin Oregon truffles one of the things that you get kind of biased and they really like the white like the classic or the paragor of the black truffle tuber melanosporum and these are the best everything else blows and partly I think

one of yours point is that most of the other truffles are not harvested in a way that is going to produce good truffles with. Have you talked about in a minute but I think the other thing is that people don't allow for difference right so they can just be these other truffles like that we're going to talk about they can just be different they don't have to be the same thing right Oregon white truffle smells like pineapple Where They At by the troubles that they experience first she's wants the most expensive possible most expensive possible one with me the left what's left of my stash of trouble from their shame on top of the pizza that we had here at lunch with the bird if I bought the war

like the crappiest truffle shaver I went to freaking Italy but it's just are you a believer in in trimming off the outside with a with a paring knife or are you a rubbing person or you had how do you like to do it

I think I could feel having to ride around with his life Wattpad dry and then Chase

so you're not a believer in pairing them down do you think you're throwing stuff away or you just like that you like that just like that lying around that shows the difference in color of the outside of it quality Criterion that's around so if you can get that entire when I'm actually makes them more attractive now that the two main truffles that you guys are doing where's Waldo one of them Oregon black truffle isn't isn't a tuber species it's a different species write a super closely related or no the Oregon black truffle the winter black truffle whatever you want to call it in the the black lines on the inside aren't as distinct as they are unlike M Alanis for him it's like much more it's like

grey and cream instead of like like blackish gray and cream would you would you say that's accurate or no pepper speckled black and white folks seem to have kind of a lot more kind of roast is soy a kind of notes then then the white one day which as you say is more has more kind of fruity not in a bad way but like somebody high notes write to the white one is more I find no trouble and the other one's more like a roast beef that you ever use them together and complement each other

good to use them together often actually do you tell you that that you're getting these roast peanuts from the black Shuffle tells me a lot about that trouble when there is the youngest they're very very pretty and sweet and they develop more Savory that's later on she took some of them is an ice cream out of the actually thought I was going to like the black ice cream a lot more than the white one and the white one was more and we also the white one had more kind of classic mushroom notes to The Taste then we had those beasts like trouble notes well but it also has the white while which is I guess it what's the what's a species there it's a tuber organ a say write the like that one along with the Truffle note at some classic mushroom notes at least when it was made into an ice cream we do agree with that or no

well yes and actually love the way you prepare the Truffle can influence whether or not you think that you had created the ice cream for the white one I guess I did

mushroom is a product of a tissue damage from grating trouble if you don't want that either leave it whole or or just Craigslist surface area just use a single life something like that out of it and then masturbated and cream and egg yolk and then spun it into an ice cream Yeah by product is produced by the Roman something you don't really want it really understand why you're saying if it's an indicator that someone did something they shouldn't have right then I can see how it's it's kind of like

train olive oil a person hates any sort of fusty or like any sort of like fermented know it's in there in their olive oil whereas people who haven't been trained to hate it don't hate it you know what I mean so it's so American people when they're buying like for instance expensive white truffles and are testing to see whether they've been frozen or not what they're looking for is a mushroom note

it's obvious when a couple has been frozen too quickly like in liquid nitrogen can I preserve the the structure without ruining it or is it just hosed entirely damaged tissue and invoke flat and the magic reaction to produce the one knock sensor y'all let me know something it's like I imagine that it's fairly poor conductors through a truffle because they have a lot of air in them so I wouldn't imagine that you could get as rapid a freezing as you would like so I know so when you freeze an egg yolk slowly you denature the protein to the extent of the egg yolk remain solid after it thaws if you liquid nitrogen freeze an egg yolk then when you saw it again it goes

funny because the it hasn't had that it didn't have the time to complex as it was going down as it was freezing and so it comes back basically to its raw State again but no egg yolks can be very high in water and dance and so it's fairly easy to freeze them fairly quickly I imagine a truffle which is much much lighter than water would probably not be as easy to freeze quick the other we can test it hella can test it

not not the body has fatty food say eggs that my whole refrigerator smells like them when when the stuff was in there and we become accustomed to it now and they Studio but we haven't here in the studio inside of their plastic containers and they still the aroma Di Roma goes right through a plastic Deli container and like into I mean there's no fills up the whole the whole area now but to go back to the aroma and like how much days versus cooking so the argument against what's the the truth machine the Chinese truffle which couple is that

marketing I was talking to their truffle guys and then they said they showed me these like basically these Chinese truffles which they called Truth machine and then the guy said to me is like they smell fine when they're you know in this by Roxy says but they lose everything when you use them in so they're relatively useless so what about the first of all what species is there is that is the Chinese truffle that they're selling and secondly what about this like that they they don't maintain their odor when they're being used in a culinary science and is there just strictly like more odorant to stay around in like I'm Alanis Bora more Magnotta than there is in somebody's other species

that Chinese Shuffle very interesting that's a complex of species is that supposed to be in China that people are discovering right now so they could be the most

which is very closely related to the French black tourmaline Florham did they have such a bad reputation in the prices are so low because of the way they're harvested potatoes and mushrooms with a Torchy's near Central produces mostly immature couples that have no problem

and you said it's the same problem with Oregon truffles right the majority of of domestic truffles that are harvested are not harvested using dogs or other form of animals smelling right that is for the many reasons you and your cohorts are on a mission to basically say look at we're going to sell these ones that are harvested by dogs did by 5 dogs one of the problems I've noticed with lots of things in this country for instance country ham is 2 comes to mind because it's something I work with a lot is that when you don't have a an easy way for consumers to know what they're purchasing

right it's hard to get the extra value on top of what you're doing so you know and I was talking to the country ham producers like look at you no country ham is hugely widely varying qualities and know the definition is basically just based on a particular procedures that do you have some sort of label or Consortium or some sort of way that a consumer can very easily tell you know this this one other than assuming that they have knowledge and they can smell it may be like this one has a greater role model and this one is relatively useless is there some sort of like way that you guys are trying to get together to let the consumer know what's what

there's a lot of conversation about that but it hasn't happened this no certification yet but it is right but someone can someone can have a Jar full of rice and truffles at their place have like one or two ones that are decent that happened to be decent and it stinks up the whole truffle jar and then you buy the one you know that got raped out and your hoes right I mean like you know you take it home and you're ruined by the trunk ajar is not good enough

so how long do you think these suckers lab how long is one of these last versus is there any difference in keeping time from Oregon truffle versus for like one of the European varieties or no depends on what you're looking at is it will stay intact longer shelf-life surf comfortable and it's just a few days long

even refrigeration storage conditions make a huge difference in how long the Truffle last what's the optimum condition

CO2 in the container where you storing them that will extend the shelf-life start to like to start to go soft and crazy right black and dry every day looking in some didn't know you couldn't tell you know what I mean like commercially extended by tightly controlled environment or no

one of my speakers of the Oregon truffle Festival on it edible film that just

we say extended extended at maximum quality or is it extended it at okay quality experience or you're going to get like 80% experience I don't know the answer when you're talking like you only have a couple of days like how fast do these things getting to Market can you enjoy these things on the East Coast or just like a West Coast or done kind of a situation we can definitely get a good quality travel to the east coast listen to Oregon

what do you think about the console you like those things that comes out of the ground

right when you get it out right when you get it out it's a beautiful Aroma that's only lasts alcohol

you might be able to call before before we before I forget what do you think of the pecan truffle you're a competitor down down there you like those things are not actually sell pecan trees with the constables on the route to not your you like you're not a huge fan of what I'm hearing you like you like they look good from a Mycologist point of view but not your favorite color a truffle

I think they're great you'll never hear me Express a preference for one truck over another Arnold and they found a truffle in the Arnold Arboretum and I don't know I don't know whether you know that the person Matthew Smith wrote the article yet and he said that and I'd like to get your opinion it's because when I spoke on the phone with you a couple months ago you said there's undoubtedly truffle species in Connecticut where I am and he writes New England's acidic soil harsh Winters and year-round precipitation are in quotes not optimal for truffles at least not the European varieties of people usually eat is that true that like a New England soil like we're going to have them but probably not delicious ones or do you disagree with his assessment

I do disagree with this assessment I think it's lucky that was found in the Arnold Arboretum and another their native species list

where are you at right we should some trees with the tourist even the burgundy Couple come out to in the Connecticut area I'll take me to come up and I want you to find whatever truffles we had an open invite to come find whatever like I said we have we have three or four varieties of Hickory three or four varieties of old mostly of the red / Black Oak group so you know any of the streets

well why don't you should do it any day ever come to New York you can eat me know you can bring my dog on believable numbers of Central Park and you can show him where to show him where to look at a hundred species of Truffles and only a few that just not strong enough to have a culinary value a really interesting sounds like the Juicy Fruit gum but that's not a shuffle that I think would ever have any culinary about it

like my whole point is is it you shouldn't try to have a you shouldn't try to have something pretend that it's something else right but like maybe it has some sort of use on its own no. Absolutely unrelated to the species and also have wonderful Aromas

we've been through this dog sleep so you can stop by either species $450 a pound how much is that way how many to the pound tenth of a pound for a hunted golf ball

that would be right now I feel like I look forward to meeting you and we'll talk more about it then no one called him there they're either on the phone or they're on call doctor fever nice so so so Charles I'll let you know Alan Schultz friend of ours in Texas believes that Oregon truffles are as soon as show parlance you'll have to excuse as enemies of quality in Soylent go ahead how do you find a good reputable Oregon truffle dealer that's hard to speak with dogs versus the the poorly harvested

counterparts. They Call Saul dog.

Charles did you hear that

did I say it's really rough to hear performance wealthy Europeans music

reputable dealer for Oregon truffles you got anyone

John goetsch g e t z who I would refer to anybody stealing dogs for the quality control but then grading the Truffle to the point where what you're receiving is the old good so that I can recommend

I haven't done any distillation work with it since we closed the bar down it's been Pat is packed but I know I'd love to try that sometime have you have you done distillation work with truffles

the thing is the trouble is continuously getting off more and more aroma so you don't really want to kill it too

fajitas or freeze it or do anything you want to leave it intact you help me live stream of gas coming off of it but we can still at basically we can distill it at room temperature in so we do vacuum distillation and you're not heating it at all the question is is with the bath and so is I would basically like an excluder almost and put the Truffle in between the alcohol vapor and the put the Truffle between the alcohol vapor and alcohol in your distillation flask and then have like a bump last there that you shove the Truffle into and then do the evaporation with the alcohol going through it so you can capture this stuff without actually having to pay the Truffle in alcohol with with my email hose it down but I would remember so so Charles you'll correct me if I'm wrong environment is basically

I don't know 35 40 minutes at at the minimum is that going to totally kill it right there or will it last for awhile in a vacuum environment

it was wonderful for a while, but I think it would be fine to do that but it almost like a truffle you spent the money on it it's going to continue to make a Roma 400 for several days so you want to continue to capture that Aroma for several days rather than actually cutting it into it and end basically ending that truffles around the production right away by either cutting it and consuming it like we do classic me when you could be cat from going over a long. Of time and so I guess what I'm saying is is yeah if you did it if you bathe in alcohol in my killeth who knows I don't know where you know if it's just if it's in alcohol

30 minutes and maybe then you let it come back up and let it bring it around the back and do it again you could possibly capture a lot more of the aroma in fact you can almost probably do it they The Vapor equivalent of a soxhlet extraction where your you know you could probably use yesterday's truffle booze and then read the Steele that again through the through the you know that the reactors urinated truffle like 3-4 times to get to really concentrate the heck out of it I don't know that I'm just like saying like the kinds of things that I might try if I had my my rotovap up and running and they can do it to it as 1 is to just set the table next to the alcohol and they were only giving lights in the alcohol is stupid

because it can produce it for a longer. Of time by presumably you get a higher instantaneous concentration through maceration but you're saying that the net effect over several days of letting it sit above the alcohol is a higher concentration

right right exactly and also there's that problem of the mushroom equality law when you masturbate the truck with like convection like actually like me no convecting the surface of the of the headspace to try to get a you know a faster more complete

Aroma removal from net from the Truffle are now well that's the thing remember there's a crazy that crazy limoncello person who never lets the appeals touch the thing that was like all the all the buzz of the limoncello internet's a couple years ago yeah I'm sure you could do the same thing although I think a lot of the components in limoncello aren't nearly as well as Thailand aromatic as a truffle she probably a better shot with a truffle are you allowing the lemons to become saturated with the alcohol mendrysa extract down below if you don't pick up the Truffle in the process to the alcohol you saying fresh air or do you think that alcohol vapor is going to hurt at 2

Elkhorn vet Vapor does accumulate in the Truffle so just been does around for you. Vertical I just built the third year and I tasted the George Washington and Michael Romans recipe from early 2015 January 2015 update is that a case like I talk to pitch better butt. We have in your ear but you're breaking up what happened to Washington which is a lower proof get real funky like like fermented milk and goat cheese blue cheese but if you shake it off

probably wouldn't drink too much like meat like the old game meat that's been aged for a long time

I'm not familiar with that but about the the taping that I definitely get is like 50 or yogurt that I want like a goatee Barnyard egg eggnog the people wrinkle their face and goat interesting night who let us know I will always why was Juan eggnog updates as does you know many of them like Nick Bennett does it Piper Christian playing like a bunch of people we know are big on that on the Aging eggnog so yeah

I can get you have an isosceles email just like Center one over the air yeah yeah let's try what's right on the Earth

Michael it's time for a couple of to take all the questions I have a question on pressure cooking vegetables on salting the question on rabbits lay down his rabbit question and then I have a question is he has always rabbits and he lives in a Suburban he wants to catch them and eat them and should he do that or should he not I have one on the on the color of cooking meat which I think is interesting and actually I'm doing a lot of work on that now for my next book for the low-temperature book The Color of meat and cooking low temperatures like super important to do so Charles any of those topics interested we did not answer one of those questions and the rest I can put off till next week

alcohol Depot know and love so you're saying basically do almost like a non-fluoride Schleich haven't transferred to the oil because it can stay over the oil headspace indefinitely without damaging the Truffle and then mix that with the alcohol and then take the fat off you can get a fair you think you can get a fairly efficient extraction that way

yes let me listen to the show now is the truffle oil is garbage an enemy of quality and just like the worst thing you actually say that you have good ones but like the commercial stuff do you feel the need to say something negative about it or do you just accept it everyone here already knows it's a garbage product what is a

usually it just makes their own truffle oil

all right well Charles I look forward to meeting you next week in McGee and me and I are going to eat the heck out of some Oregon Truffles and holy find some maybe even get some of that Mickey smell right out of the ground I'll report back to cooking issues but I got to go to the suburbs faces scourge of an r-selected mammalian population Boom the Beast we deal with may look all cute and cuddly but in reality they are the eastern cottontail rabbit they annihilate our carefully tended Gardens destroy our nation fruit and vegetable patches and leave poop all over our laws and patios and they breed like rabbits

yeah I said it was able to keep the population down that cost bathroom dynamite in the neighborhood but I think it might be more delicious to trap the rabbits and save them for culinary use in doing my research I've seen various comments online about how safe to eat the meat will be overrun with parasites another nine good things this doesn't seem right to me are rabbits really that different from other wild game that's my question what's your advice on safe and delicious methods of slaughtering handling and cooking these rabbits how is it going to freezing to meet before low temp cooking and password station wasn't sure if that was Overkill Arnot Mall so slightly worried about freaking out my wife and kids and all our friends expect they'll get over it by okay thanks John from my New Jersey okay

household where people like go out and Hunt things and then they're going to be fine with it if you didn't grow up in that environment a lot of times they're like meat comes from the store meat is raised for being killed and you can't get people around it it's just weird us out your own family on this but if they if they say ahead of time that they're not going to be okay with it then believe me they're not going to be okay with it I mean I'm okay with it now your second thing is is it what's the problem with rabbits now

I also looked online for this and some people are like wildly crazy worried that like somehow Suburban you know rabbits are like licking motor oil and like you know I don't know I don't know is doing some sort of like terrible stuff but if you're willing to eat products that you grow where you are I don't think rabbits make a habit of licking up motor oil or more like cats like eating ethylene glycol or if you have an antifreeze the cats eat and kills them but you know I don't I don't know of anything like that stuff is basically hogwash what is true is that rabbits in general can have two Eremia and you want to be careful about it in fact they get it from tick bites guess there's other doctor for tick bite is one of them and it is it is easily transmissible from a rabbit to a human being in there having cases this happening and now if you thoroughly cook the animal

you get rid of it but it and it is possible to catch it while skinning the rabbits have to be careful what you typically do when your testing it and I looked up with no hunting rabbits tularemia because people who hunt rabbits a lot like this is something they're worried about their like look out for rabbits that look lethargic or sick and then when you have be when you eviscerate the rabbit you look at the liver and if the liver is kind of spotted or speckled that's a good sign that that rabbit has two and now you can and their pictures online you can you can see in general as for how to slaughter them because you're not hunting them you're crapping I would go to have never sought a rabbit until very recently the last animal that would be slaughtered right where you were going to eat it so butcher shops that still wouldn't Slaughter pigs or or sheep or cows near where their shop is would still Slaughter rabbits in their butcher shop in this would happen

up until fairly recently even after way after it was illegal just because it was very kind of simple to do and it was considered it was a thing that many butchers did that said I don't know how to do it but there is danforth's butchering poultry rabbit lamb goat and pork has a whole section on how to properly and humanely slaughter a rabbit and how to eviscerate it and I highly recommend his book yet another one whole one on beef opening on the procedures of how do you really want to go through with it or not because he goes through all the steps of what needs to happen so the two things I would look up or are the tularemia how to check for and how to prevent a you know you getting it while you're getting it because I think I think certain things can get aerosolized like blood and stuff when you're skinning it and then that's where it happens again you can cook it and be safe and then on how to butcher and Slaughter it

go to Adam Danforth and then if you still want to cook with it later I'm going to be working on rabbit eventually but probably not for a month or two for my book so come back hit me then with some recipes for rabbit giving thanks to Charles LeFevre from the Oregon truffle festival and his about that I forget that are you still there for Doctor what's the name of the company is your website and I will see you next week on cooking issues

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