When we talk truffles, we don’t mean the fancy candies. In this instance, the truffles in question are black Périgords, the subterranean fungi nicknamed “black diamonds,” a delicacy in the global marketplace.
Right now, black truffles retail for $1,400 to $1,600 a pound, a relative deal considering white truffles are $3,200 to $3,600 a pound. Though their looks aren’t at all impressive, their unique musky scent has made them a treasured ingredient in haute cuisine for centuries.
Which leads us to the sixth annual Napa Truffle Festival, Friday-Monday, Jan. 15-18, offering an a la carte menu of tastings, events and special lodging packages. Among the offerings will be cooking and truffle-hunting demonstrations, truffle-accented lunches, food-and-wine pairings and tastings, truffle-cultivation seminar presented by the American Truffle Company, and a special multicourse dinner at La Toque in Napa, a collaboration between four top chefs.
Also, a truffle luncheon and wine pairing at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, hosted by chef Rick Tramonto of Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans. Closing the festival will be a pop-up marketplace showcasing specialty wines and foods from an army of vendors at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa.
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The event brings foodies from all over California and a few foreign countries. For more information and to reserve a spot: 888-753-9378 or www.napatrufflefestival.com.