In Italy, black truffle season marks a time to revere the black, roughly hewn morels. They are harvested under oak and hazelnut trees from December through March. For chefs, black truffles add complexity to dishes with their pungent flavor, reminiscent of ripe fruit and cocoa. A far cry from local, black truffles must be imported from Europe.
One such restaurant who has celebrated black truffle season for more than 15 years is Sotto Sotto, where chef-owner Riccardo Ullio imports the tartufo from Umbria and adds to dishes such as pasta or a celery heart salad with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved truffles, lemon and olive oil.
“We’ve brought truffles – white and black – from Italy since Sotto Sotto opened in 1999,” said chef-owner Riccardo Ullio. “I went to Umbria in 1996 and had the celery salad that we serve at a small restaurant there. I fell in love with how simple this salad is, and we’ve been serving it at Sotto Sotto for black truffle season ever since.”
Sotto Sotto will be offering a special black truffle menu beginning this week, until the restaurant runs out.
What other restaurants can you find black truffles? We know that Chef Piero at Pricci receives black truffles all the time, which he uses to create an Umbrian truffle pesto for the risotto ai funghi. And Cucina Asellina offers black truffles on the prosciutto pizza with a baked farm egg.
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Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution