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Truffles - the mushroom

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 11:29 am
Love 'em?
Hate 'em?
Indifferent?

I never had them. The other day I bought some truffle salt, just a tiny amount from the bulk bin as it's about $50 a lb.

A few times walking around the store, I looked around to see where this weird smell was coming from. When I got in line and started putting items on the belt, I realized it was the salt. I asked the woman behind me "What does this smell like?" She wrinkled up her nose, and I said "Sweaty dirty feet?" and she bust out laughing, saying "YES! What IS that?" She laughed for the next minute. The cashier, a guy, sniffed it, and looked at me confused, like what was I talking about? He smelled it again, like he liked it. The bagger did the same, and she just shrugged his shoulders.

I figured I got a bad batch. When I got home I looked "truffles stink" up and saw that 40% of people think truffles smell like rotten wood or sweat. Ding, ding ding! 25% don't really care either way, and the rest like it.

Seems it's all about the androstenone. If you're sensitive to it, it stinks.

From the link below...

All this turns white truffle season, which starts at the end of September and lasts for eight weeks, into a complicated period for chief cooks who are paying 1,600 dollars for a pound of truffles this year. Mark Alba, chief cook of Food Studio in Atlanta, says he has heard everything - from complaining about foul smell of truffles to exclamations that after trying truffles one wouldn't regret to die.

http://www.1-800-caviar.com/truffle-lovers.html

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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 1,379 • Replies: 18
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Tes yeux noirs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 01:04 pm
Asparagus is another food like that. After eating it some people (producers) produce a substance in their pee, and some people (detecters) can smell that substance. I am both a producer and detecter. And I love truffles.


Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 01:47 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
The summer truffle (aka burgundy truffle) is not too bad at all, especially it's priced reasonable. (But supermarkets mostly sell the cheap Chinese variation .) I've only once tried real Périgord truffles ... couldn't afford that meal nowadays anymore (That was more than 40 years ago, in a small village restaurant in deepest Périgord.)
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 01:54 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
I think everyone produces that smell with asparagus but only some people can actually smell it.
Wait. From reading this link, it seems results of tests are mixed...

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-asparagus-makes-your-urine-smell-49961252/?no-ist

I can smell it, but I still enjoy asparagus a lot.
It's a strange odor, but it doesn't smell disgusting to me.

So what do truffles smell like to you? How would you describe it? Is it pleasant to you?

I remember when having musk in perfume was all the rage back in the 80's. I absolutely hated it when I smelled someone wearing it, and couldn't imagine why anyone thought it was sexy.


chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 01:55 pm
@chai2,
Again walter, what does it smell like to you?

Good? Bad? Indifferent?

0 Replies
 
Tes yeux noirs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:04 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
So what do truffles smell like to you? How would you describe it? Is it pleasant to you?

I've had truffle shavings in pasta, and I have a bottle of truffle oil. I would say the smell is very mushroomy, and can become overpowering when cooking. I have dressed freshly cooked pasta with the oil and thought "I'm not going to like this" but when I came to eat it it was wonderful.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:05 pm
@chai2,
I'm a truffle salt user and I've very very occasionally bought/used slivers of truffle. I like the earthy smell/taste it adds to some foods. I think it's one of those umami things.

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/you-think-you-know-umami

There's a Nepalese form of bamboo that smells like gym bag stench when it's cooked. I hate it almost as much as some second-gen Nepalese/Tibetan-Cdn's hate it. I don't even like it when it's being served at the next table.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:19 pm
@ehBeth,
Ew. That sounds delightful
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:22 pm
So ehBeth and Oliver, what would you suggest I make with a bit of truffle salt, so see if I can discern the taste?

Just a little something simple where I could get the idea.

It's a beautiful day out, so if it stinks while cooking all the windows are open. Very Happy

chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:23 pm
Infused oils...generally don't care for them.

I've got one with basil in it, and I guess I'll let it sit around awhile longer before I toss it out.

Damn, I'm going to do that right now. Yes I am!
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:27 pm
@chai2,
I'd sprinkle a tiny bit on steamed green vegetables for a first try - spinach/brocollini/asparagus.

this works too

http://www.thekitchn.com/simple-appetizer-bread-with-bu-84388

especially with some of your good homemade bread and unsalted butter
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:37 pm
We grew asparagus when i was a child, living with my grandparents. There is almost no smell at all in the garden. I think the smell must come from cooking them. That's OK, if you don't like the smell, that's just more for me. We eat asparagus whenever we can get it at a reasonable price. I don't have a problem with truffles either, but i've not eaten that much in my lifetime.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:39 pm
@chai2,
I don't know if I ever smelled truffles - I've had them in dishes but I haven't purchased it myself to use in cooking so I don't know if there is a difference. Next time I order something with truffles I will have to take a close smell.

I smell the asparagus too - I mentioned that asparagus makes your pee smell to my husband and it looked at me as if I had two heads. He must not be a smeller.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:41 pm
@ehBeth,
I vote for trying it with asparagus and then I wonder if it would affect the pee smell.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 02:48 pm
@chai2,
Its androstenol , apositional isomer of which, (3 BETA-androstenol, acts a a pheromone for humans an pigs). SO, is there q connection ? Pigs hqve a much more sensitive sense of smell and can pick up the "Slightly fetid musty odor of the truffle" Maybe we sense the smell an the pheromonal properties.
(Oysters and a truffle infused dish always gets one laid)--
I had this discussion (sorta) with IZZY da PUSHER the other day and he claimed that he couldnt smell that sulfury smell that our urine takes on after eating asparagus. (Turns out that thae 40% rule of non-smellers, cannot really enjoy asparagus and truffles in the same level)
Some cheeses hqve teeny amounts of the positional isomer and that makes the cheese more enjoyable .
It turns out that the genes that are in line with smelling the slightly fetid smell of truffles as well as the sulfury (its a mercaptan polymer) smell of asparagus pee, ARE THE SAME GENES that make these same people dislike cumin.
So, there are about 3 levels of sniffers
1those who cant smell and dont care for truffles but appreciate cumin
2those who are slight sniffers but like truffles and dont dislike cumin
3 those who are full-on sniffers of truffles and asparagus and love truffles, asparagus, but dont like cumin on their food.
IF that breakdown works, I am in group three.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 03:30 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:


especially with some of your good homemade bread and unsalted butter


Very Happy
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 03:41 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

ARE THE SAME GENES that make these same people dislike cumin.
So, there are about 3 levels of sniffers
1those who cant smell and dont care for truffles but appreciate cumin
2those who are slight sniffers but like truffles and dont dislike cumin
3 those who are full-on sniffers of truffles and asparagus and love truffles, asparagus, but dont like cumin on their food.
IF that breakdown works, I am in group three.


Well, if my sniffer is any indication, there's a third group.

I like asparagus, I like cumin, until I taste, the jury is out on truffle.

Fetid.
That's the word. Not slightly fetid either.

I have the salt in my kitchen, in the tiny zip lock bag I put some in. That bag is inside a grocery store vegetable bag (the lady behind me in line suggested that)
Those 2 bages are inside a larger gallon zip lock I grabbed when I came home, and that ziplock is inside a throw away grocery store bag. Finally, all of that has been stuffed inside a heavy brown paper bag. 5 layers that I can recall, maybe more. Could be as many as 2 more layers. I can't bring myself to investigate. It's that bad to my nose.

I can STILL smell whiffs of it when I go in the kitchen, or even in the area between dining room and kitchen, 2 separate rooms.

I'm going to try on some bread and butter as soon as I can work up the courage.


0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 03:51 pm
ok, while not nearly as disgusting as the smell, not something worth putting up with the stink for.

definately umami, which ususally is a good thing, just not for this.

Bleech, now after eating, I'm opening and closing my mouth, getting that third eye experience, if that makes any sense.

Nope.

BTW, it was 6 layers.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2016 03:52 pm
Ugh.

Now I'm tasting an elderly aunties palour.
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