Truffle Grilled Cheese is a bougie and tasty way to enjoy truffles! I love living in Western Australia, where we are lucky enough to have black truffles growing in our region! Join me on an exciting truffle hunt at Millgrove Truffles, and see how easy it is to use fresh truffles when they're in season!
What are Truffles?
Where do truffles come from? They grow underground? How can you find them? How do you eat them? Glad you asked! You'll see it in the video, truffle hunting, plus an easy way to enjoy truffles that anyone can make!
Truffles are basically underground edible mushrooms that are considered a delicacy. They have a strong aroma and a unique flavor. They grow alongside certain tree roots and are usually hard to find. The Black Perigold Truffle is what we went searching for, and it's usually found in the south of France.
Manjimup Western Australia is far from France, but is an ideal location to grow truffles. Because our seasons are opposite from France, they're available for export when they're out of season in the northern hemisphere.
Fresh Black Perigold Truffles have a rough, black/brown exterior, but when you slice them inside, it has white veins, almost like a marbling effect. Because they are hard to find, that also can make them expensive. Think of them as a fine wine, or a black caviar, but of the mushroom variety!
How to Hunt Truffles
Nowadays, most truffles are hunted with dogs trained to seek out their smell underground. In Europe, pigs can also used as well as hunting animals. The problem with using pigs is that they want to eat the truffle they find, and you might have a battle on their hands (pigs can bite)! Dogs however, have no desire to eat the truffles and respond to their training, as long as you give them a treat!
When the truffle dog finds the aroma of the truffle, they will let you know and then you have to carefully dig. If you smell the soil, it will have a strong, earthy truffle aroma, letting you know there's a truffle nearby! Truffles can be found from a few centimetres under the soil, to up to six inches deep. So dig carefully as you can easily damage the truffle. Remember, all good things require some work! Wash the truffles, removing all soil before using.
How To Store Truffles
So you've got some truffles and you need to keep them as fresh in your fridge. Use them as fast as you can, as they only last around 10 days from harvest. Store them in airtight glass jar in the fridge, loosely wrapped in a paper towel. The truffle releases moisture into the paper towel, which is why it needs to be changed every single day. Wipe the glass jar if damp, and wrap loosely with a fresh paper towel, keep the truffle as dry as possible. If the glass jar isn't airtight, the truffle smell will permeate into other foods in your fridge, like milk! If the truffles are mushy and start to smell bad, then they're likely spoiled and need to be discarded.
You can freeze truffles as well, but fresh truffles have a better and stronger flavor. Place dry truffles in a Ziploc bag and squeeze all the air out of the bag. You can also use a vacuum sealer. Don't freeze for too long, use them up in 4-5 months. But seriously, who has so many truffles that they need to freeze them? Fresh is best.
What Do Truffles Taste Like?
Every truffle is different and has a unique flavor profile. Just like wine, there are profiles that each truffle has, and some of the scents are surprising. Now I am not good at tasting wine, ie. This wine has top notes of blackberry and cinnamon, however, in my opinion, it was very earthy, musky and tasted surprisingly nutty for me. It does not taste like a mushroom! Here are some truffle profiles, see if you recognize them when you buy a truffle!
How to Use Truffles
Fresh truffles sound scary, but they don't need to be! Yes, they are expensive which can scare you from buying and using them. However, it's so easy to use. In the video, Leanne made a 3 Cheese Truffle Toastie, or in North America we call it a Truffle Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Everyone should know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, and the truffle really elevates a simple sandwich! Here are some other fresh truffle recipe ideas.
- Truffle Butter - grated truffle mixed in with butter
- Truffle Mashed Potatoes 🤤
- Truffle Gnocchi
- Truffle Mac and Cheese
- Truffle Pizza
- Truffle Omelette
- Truffle Risotto
How to Cut Truffles - Life Hack
It can be scary to cook with whole black truffles, but it's easy to prepare. Some people use a fine grated to grate truffles over or into their meals. Others prefer it thinly sliced as in the video. You can guy special truffle slicers, which are super sharp so be careful. If you're still exploring truffle and don't want to invest in a truffle slicer, here is my LIFE HACK! Using a potato peeler, carefully slice thin pieces of truffle for the same effect.
Truffle Grilled Cheese Sandwich
As I mentioned, this is a bit of a bougie grilled cheese sandwich recipe. Start with your favorite cheeses, and I recommend using more than 1 cheese. This is a 3 cheese grilled cheese sandwich. Sharp cheeses are great to use, but don't use cheese already infused with flavors, such as smoked cheese. You don't want to take away from the hero of the grilled cheese sandwich, the truffle! Here are some of my suggestions.
We grilled the grilled cheese sandwich on a bbq, but usually it's made in a frying pan. When using fresh truffles for grilled cheese, it's best to prepare them 1 day in advance. This allows for time for the truffle flavor to permeate through the cheeses. Place your cheeses inside the bread slices like you make a sandwich. Put sliced truffles between the cheese sliced and place in the fridge. Make sure you carefully seal the sandwiches with cling wrap so the flavors don't escape into the rest of the food in the fridge.
Butter the outsides of the bread, so the buttered bread is in contact with the frying pan. You can use truffle butter, however regular butter is fine to use. You can also use mayonnaise instead of butter for your grilled cheese sandwich. Truffles flavor compliment oily things. It's that easy to use fresh truffles!
- Use your favorite bread like sourdough, rye bread, marble rye, whole wheat...
- Choose your favorite cheeses, there really isn't a wrong or right here!
- Prepare 1 to 2 days in advance to allow the flavors to penetrate, but keep in an airtight container in the fridge!
I hope this encouraged you to try fresh truffles, or even better to go on a Truffle Hunt at Millgrove Truffles. This was not a sponsored post, but just sharing a genuine experience at a real truffle farm, with real people. So get out there, book your Truffle Hunt, or maybe just order them in next time they are in season! 🤣 Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Truffle Grilled Cheese (Video)
- 4 slices bread
- 2 slices gruyere cheese
- 2 slices cheddar
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan
- fresh truffle
- Prepare this unbuttered grilled cheese sandwich at least 1 day in advance, and keep refrigerated in an airtight containter.
- Prepare your bread slices. Place a slice of gruyere on top of a bread slice. Slice or grate the truffles over the cheese slice. Spoon on the parmesan over the truffle. Cover with the slice of cheddar cheese. Sandwich together and cling wrap it in the fridge.
- Spread butter on the outsides of the bread. Heat a frying pan and place the buttered sandwiches on the pan, or on a bbq flattop grill. Cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Flip over and repeat for a few more minutes until golden and the cheese has melted.