A seminal meal during a seminal year in Italy happened at an osteria in Alba. It was white truffle season in Piedmont, and the supplement for a leaning tower of slivered delicacies atop egg-rich, golden tajarin pasta was about the same, ridiculously affordable price as the Barbaresco I was slurpin’ by the glass.
I hadn’t had white truffles before and haven’t had them since because the upcharge in fancy New York restaurants makes me miss everything about Italy. But deliverance has arrived for New York eaters via “Truffle Season” at Eataly.
Now, the truffles at Eataly aren’t at Piedmont prices, but there’s various ways at various price points to enjoy the sumptuous fungi coveted by both man and beast.
The beasts in question are cinghiale, the wild boars indigenous to Italy who spend much of their nocturnal hours in search of subterranean tubers clustered near tree roots in dense forests. It’s not a golden palate that attracts the wild animal but the lust inducing aroma of pheromones that seep from the ground and, well, make the beasts want to knock boots.
The effect on humans may include aphrodisiac aspects, but the real pleasure is simply in the intersection of earth and musk and luxury that, when complementing certain, simple dishes, can be transcendental.
Eataly is making this magic palate ride accessible in myriad ways, both prepared and wholesale, within their auspices in both Flatiron and Downtown.
An adventurous way to enjoy truffle season at Eataly is to take a nugget home to gild the lily of your own creations. They are sold from display counters in both locations and accompanied by expert advice on how to store and serve. Go for it.
In-house, there’s opportunity at the various counters or table service spots to take truffles for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. The offerings rotate throughout the season and are currently available over eggs, pizza slices, or any of the pasta or risotto dishes at Osteria della Pace (Downtown) and Manzo or il Pastaio in Flatiron, respectively, where the latter has fresh white truffles over egg-rich, golden tajarin pasta.
Guess where I’m going?
Truffle Season at Eataly in New York will last, unofficially, until mid-January.
Photos courtesy of Eataly.