November 14, 2006

The $160,406 truffle!

Will it be eaten or just displayed? Eaten!


altoids1306 said...

That story captures the essence of the Cantonese attitude to food.

Wickedpinto said...

I'm sorry, if the only descriptions of White Truffles is that they are known for their price tag and their strong garlic smell, you know what I'm gonna do everytime?

I'm just gonna use more garlic. Is that wrong?

Really, anything that costs the same as my car insurance shouldn't be edible. (I don't mean whole truffle, I mean the shavings on the random dish) I feel the same for fat goose liver (which I could have tasted once, but the look and smell of it disgusted me) and caviar, which I have had, and is basicaly vegemite with a differen texture.

Sorry for my less than high 6 figure palate.

al said...

Just think - they could have spend an hour with Paris Hilton instead...

WP - more garlic is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Pretty huge dichotomy between Mr. Wu and the villagers of "Mud".

RogerA said...

eating more garlic is a good thing although it is probably best done as some sort of communal activity! And I disagree with the characterization of truffle aroma as that of garlic--of course, my experience is limited to truffle oils and not the real thing.

and YES--word verification is getting longer and more challenging

Drew W said...

When an already-costly delicacy reaches this level of expense, can one really enjoy it on its own merits?

Wouldn't its world-record-holding supremacy as a marketable foodstuff somehow alter the diner's ability to judge its taste?

And shouldn't there be a truffle-sniffing pig out there with a $16,040.60 finder's fee?

(At least fĂȘted fungi was auctioned off for charity, to raise money for young women who've gotten themselve in truff--I mean troub--I mean, a family way.)

Wickedpinto said...


I think I have seen every single Iron Chef (japan) that aired in the united states several times.

I would ALWAYS get pissed when there was shark fin, and swallows nest end up on the menu. The announcers, the judges, Doctor Hatori (or is it Hitori? I think Hatori) would admit that they didn't taste like anything, but they cost the American Equivalent of a human testicle (the exchange rate might have changed, but I think I'm in the neighborhood.)

Here these people are, interferring with the reproductive process of a species (swallows nest) the very EXISTENCE of a species (shark finning) for something that tastes like nothing.

I made a comment the other day about how I hate tofu fascists, and I described it as "tofu doesn't just taste bad, it doesn't even taste like food, tofu is Rice, only without texture and that ever deliscious flavor of RICE!"

The difference is that nothing is going extinct in the production of tofu or rice, not to mention I can eat a lot of things that taste like nothing for a LOT less money than shark fin (had it, was pissed, and felt guilty) and swallows nest (never had it.)

There are so many foods that are only "delicacy's" not because they are delicate and rare and flavorful, but JUST rare.

Now Kobe beef? AWESOME!

Christy said...

My local high-end grocery keeps truffles, when they have them, in the safe. I wonder if the money begins to smell like garlic? Anyhow, I happily settle for truffle oil.

Drew W said...


As an exultant and unrepentant steak-eater, I've always wondered about kobe beef. I gather that you enjoyed it. Still, I get the feeling that if I ever ordered it -- something that might happen if I won the lottery or married an heiress -- I probably still couldn't stop myself from mentally computing, as I ate, approximately how much I was spending per bite and from that figure, how much each chew was costing me. And maybe I'd also be figuring out how many dollars per minute I was spending with the kobe steak, from the moment it was served until it was all gone. I think I'd probably have some sort of mental breakdown before the waiter came back to ask if everything was okay.

Not to play the working class hero, but some foods are just too rich for my blood. Heck, I don't even order filet mignon, since there's something a little too perfect about it. The Newport steaks I buy at my neighborhood butcher are pricy (and fatty) enough for me.

Somehow the talk of shark fins and swallows' nests reminds me of that scene from "The Freshman" where well-heeled diners paid dearly for a secret banquet where they could feast on various endangered species.

PS: In a major cooking-show scandal, the Iron Chef has been disqualified from competition. They found out he'd been taking iron supplements. (rim-shot)

RogerA said...

OK Drew--I will see your iron chef comment and raise you a pillsbury doughboy: The Pillsbury company recently announced the death of their long time advertising icon, the Pillsbury doughboy, who died of a terminal yeast infection after being poked in the stomach too many times.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Roger A: I bet he'll turnover in his grave.

Wickedpinto said...

Drew, my Kobe Beef Experience wasn't a Steak, what you think I am, a decadent aristocrat?

No, I was at a sushi bar, and I basicaly had . . . . .whats tartar dish?

I basicaly had maguru, or is it moguru? (thick sliced tuna) and a few other popular sushis, I had a large chunck of sashimi tuna, and a sashimi salmon (anyone who likes raw salmon? you are floging neanderthals, imagine salty chew butter, mixed with tofu.) and a kobe platter.

The kobe was the focus. ( I always liked raw beef, AS IN THE FOODSTUFF!!! back off the gay jokes) I had a carpaccio, a thick sliced, barely seered sashimi style (whatever it's called) and something else, I don't know what it's called in japanese, but a slightly thicker cut, that had been soaking in soy, or teryiaki (I think soy, it was salty) and citrus fruits.

RAW Kobe? well, it tastes like a rare steak without heat, and it's much better that way. The slightly thicker slices, mixed with fishoil, and soy, or was it teryaki? I don't know, it was sweet, but kobe is sweet, so I don't know if it was either.

But the last one, the thick slices, that were prepared as a soy lemon cevice? (spelling?) ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!!!

If Kobe Beef steer, or cows existed in the wild, I would LEARN how to tackle them at the neck, and gnaw their raw flesh like antwa-dimayla.

bearbee said...

The Pillsbury company recently announced the death of their long time advertising icon, the Pillsbury doughboy, who died of a terminal yeast infection after being poked in the stomach too many times. guys are making me laugh. The death of of P.doughboy is a tragedy.........any one collecting some bread for a flour arrangement....... or is that being too tacky?

Derve said...

It's tacky, bearbee.
Especially when you consider his wife has a bun in the oven. Everyone knows this calls for an educational fund, not flour donations.

RogerA said...

I knew Althouse had the best readers and commenters: masters of the pun--the highest form of humor (what? that isnt so? who knew)

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I wonder if there's an expiration date stamped on his coffin?

Revenant said...

No matter how rich I get, I can't picture spending more than a hundred bucks on a dinner -- let alone a couple hundred bucks just for some truffle shavings.

The wikipedia article on truffles is pretty interesting. Apparently there's an untapped market in truffle cultivation at the moment -- demand outstrips supply by a factor of 50.