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They say, if you have to win the heart of a woman, give her a rock. And if you have to win the heart of a chef - gift him the kitchen diamond - the truffle. A wild natural variant of mushroom, it grows under tree roots, in particular, climatic conditions, and soil and can only be excavated by trained pigs and dogs only (in Italy, pigs are banned from truffle hunting since they destroy the truffles with their trotters). Truffle hunting is one of the best possible touristy things that one can enjoy, as one has to walk miles at times, amongst the serene, picturesque meadows. A drop of the oil or a shave off truffle on the most of the basic dishes can elevate the dish to a different height altogether. Considered as one of the most expensive cooking ingredients of the world, truffles are basically a variant of mushroom which is found in many regions of Italy and also in France. And even though they are found everywhere in Italy, the truffles from Alba and Piedmont are more popular; perhaps they have marketed themselves better.
Hyatt Regency, Kolkata is doing a truffle festival wherein they have created a special menu with truffles in every dish. Now, when we are talking about truffles, this is not just the basic truffle shavings on a dish. Silvia Landucci, the owner of Boscovivo, one of the biggest producers of truffle based products in Italy, has brought with her the variants of this kitchen magic. So, one can find truffle salt, truffle caviar, salsa, cream, in brine, 'the most natural form' of truffle oil (most of the brands just have a chemical essence in their truffle oil) and a very exotic truffle honey.
Karen Anand, the gourmet guru, is the person behind the show. The menu is curated by Karen and created by the expert hands of Chef Sumeet Priyadarshi, chef de cuisine, La Cucina. There will be truffle in some form in every dish.
One can expect Diver Scallops with Truffle Shavings and Truffle Caviar in the appetizer. Each of the scallops comes with a different puree underneath- Yellow Pepper, Peas and Pumpkin and some truffle shaving and the truffle caviar dots on top, making it a vibrant dish with musky flavour. Then there is the eternally creamy Burrata with truffle salt and Caramelised Figs with some greens. For pasta, one can expect truffles in the form of Salsa in a Risotto made with Shimeji Mushrooms and Fatty Duck Liver or a Fettuccine tossed with Truffle Carpaccio.
A beautiful piece of pink Salmon crusted with Black Olives sitting on a bed of Cream Sauce having micro herbs forms a part of the main course. The truffle is in the form of White Truffle Oil in the Pea Puree along with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes.
Who knew that truffles could be used in desserts? Well, the Truffle Honey is being brilliantly utilised here in the desserts in the form of a Panna Cotta with Truffle Honey, Strawberry Relish and some fresh strawberries.
The above is just a small sneak peek into few of the dishes. The menu is super exciting and has truffles imbibed in them in all its glory. It will be available at The Hyatt Regency for dinner at La Cucina until the 28th of February 2017. So, if you have not tried this kitchen jewel before, here is your chance to experience this culinary beauty.
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.