The year was 1992. My parents had just returned from a trip to Europe and along with a bag full of chocolates and other stuff, they also got a bottle of truffle oil, a gift from an Italian family. I was quite young and obviously had no clue about what truffles were but I remember how fascinated I was hearing my mom speak about this mushroom and how the Italians train dogs to sniff them out. Last Saturday, sitting at La Cucina, Hyatt Regency Kolkata listening to Silvia Landucci talk of truffle hunting, brought back all those memories.
Do you know that truffles are considered to be the most expensive food in the world and that the price of the famous white winter truffle can go upto 6,000 Euro per kg? What is so special about this exotic mushroom and why does the world go gaga over truffles? If you want to find out, head over to La Cucina where food guru Karen Anand and Italian truffle specialist Silvia Landucci from Boscovivo have curated a special truffle menu. I was invited by Hyatt Regency Kolkata for a tete a tete with the truffle gurus over lunch and it was one decadent meal for sure!
The menu for lunch was curated by Karen and created by Chef Sumeet Priyadarshi using Boscovivo products like truffle oil, truffle salsa, truffle caviar, truffle honey apart from fresh truffles. I started off my meal with a salad of diver scallops with truffle shavings and caviar. Each of the scallops were placed on a bed of yellow pepper, peas and pumpkin puree. Karen mentioned that this is one of the more experimental dishes on the menu. I loved the pairing of the scallops with the purees especially the yellow pepper one. The earthiness of the truffles added to the taste and it was a superhit combination. If you are vegetarian, you can opt for burrata with truffle salt and caramelized figs. According to Karen, truffles goes very well with creamy things and there cannot be anything creamier than burrata.
I had the option to choose between a risotto and a fettucine and I chose the former. The shimeji mushroom risotto with parmesan, fatty duck liver and truffle carpaccio was a treat to the senses. The cheese wafer on top was the perfect addition.
Main course was a beautiful, soft, olive-crusted pink salmon on a bed of creamy herb sauce served with pea puree . Here, truffle is present in the pea puree in the form of white truffle oil. Karen suggested to drizzle a bit of the oil on the salmon to enhance the flavor and it sure tied up everything together.
Dessert was an exotic creation of vanilla pannacotta with strawberry relish and truffle honey. The sweetness of the honey and the earthy, musky flavor of the truffle made such a great pair.
What: Truffle Festival
Where: La Cucina, Hyatt Regency
When: Till February 28, 6pm to 11pm
Meal for two: Rs 2,800-plus