Thursday, September 18, 2008


Yet more inspiration from JOLTED

Today’s topic is truffles. I learned all about them while researching my book JOLTED . You see, Newton, my main character, sees himself as an amazing chef and wants to get the highest marks in Culinary Arts and Survival 9, a class that he’s taking. So he adds truffles to his gopher quiche.* Yes, truffles! Aren’t they great? Even the name just flows off the tongue like honey (did you know that honey is bee vomit? I digress).

Wait, are you one of those poor unschooled people who thinks that truffles are chocolates?

Give your head a shake. Anything rattling? Really, let me set the record straight: truffles are a fungus that grows under the drip lines of hazel and oak trees. They give off a heavenly aroma, and they taste like the food of the gods. The Babylonians, the Greeks, the Egyptians all knew the glory of truffles. What I’m saying is that they are the ultimate civilized food. And they’re clever, too. Truffles emit a steroid similar to the pheromone that male pigs produce. Female “truffle hunting” pigs hunt truffles so well because they believe that something romantic is going to happen when they start digging in the dirt. Are you laughing at the poor pigs? Shame on you. Humans have some rather bizarre odour fetishes, too. Someone has to be buying that Paris Hilton perfume.

Anyway, once found and dug up, the truffles are sold in secretive markets in France and Italy (and some other countries, but really why buy the rest when you can get the best?). Why are truffles so expensive? Just blame World Wars One and Two. Those little conflicts chewed up most of the land where truffles grew, and also chewed up the peasants who tended the truffles -- which makes truffles quite rare, and worth as much as four hundred dollars a pound. Worth every penny, says I. And now that you have this knowledge, you can tease other people who think truffles are chocolates. Be sure to practice your sneer beforehand. Oh, and have fun.

*Yes, there is a gopher (Richardson’s ground squirrel) quiche in my new book. I believe it may be a literary first.


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