Saturday, August 29, 2009


As I have limited time nowadays, let me share you today, a piece I wrote after my trip to southeastern Turkey last year. Hope you will find it delicious.

One of the great finds of my southeastern trip was the gourmet delight, truffle mushroom. The risotto I cooked with them was just delicious.

I first saw the truffle vendors near the Umayyad Mosque at Damascus. It was quite surprising to find this expensive and rare item of the French cuisine that was suppose to have aphrodisiac qualities in Damascus. I did not buy them at that time, afraid that I might not carry them in a good condition back home.

While traveling in southeastern Turkey I first saw a small amount in a fisherman’s shop in Mardin and then some in Urfa. After learning that it was possible to keep them fresh up to a week by covering them with newspaper and keeping rather in a cool place, the transaction was inevitable. After paying USD 15/kg, and using the refrigerators of the up coming hotels, I have to say that the end result in Istanbul was quite successful.

In the Internet sites, its been written that it has a rather spicy taste and crunchy if eaten raw but they are all mentioning about its smell as the most unique element of truffle. To tell you the truth I did not catch any specific smell other than the slight smell of the earth.Truffle is a mushroom type that grows inside the earth. So in order to find this highly prized good, they are using specially trained dogs in France. Peter Mayle, was telling the story of a man who was stealing the truffle from his neighbor’s land with the help of his dog during night in his beautiful book Encore Provence. But one Internet site. ( www. ) was telling that apart from dogs they are also using female pigs Apparently, as the smell of the mushroom quite resembles the smell of a male pig, Miss Piggys were very successful in locating them.

I have never smell a male pig in my life but I could make three deductions from my experience. Either I have a problem with my nose, or the mushrooms that I bought had no smell or male pigs have a light smell of earth. But whatever it is the risotto was just delicious.


  1. Well you are making me very hungry. Looks fantastic. Not sure about truffles, have never tried them, but you do make it look yummy. PS love the plate in the last pic!! Have a great weekend. Julie

  2. This looks amazing! Lovely post that makes me hunger for travel in Turkey.

  3. Interesting! My son had a dog that would source and dig up truffles, a rare thing in Ontario.

  4. Excellent narrative about truffles as well as great photos. I love truffles! Thanks for your comments about the India photos on our travel website ( I agree with you, India is such a phenomenal place to visit and has so many spectacular photo opportunities. I could print a year's worth of photos from India there were so many great choices. I also love Turkey as well. I enjoyed my visit and hope to have the opportunity to go back! I have signed up as a follower on your site and look forward to more great photos and information on your site.

  5. Wow, you are so lucky to find these treasures at a shop. The risotto looks delicious!

  6. My Husband spent a great deal of time int hat part of the world for work, I am very jealous when he talks endlessly about the food... :)

  7. I've never tried truffles... I knew they were very expensive and really good... You should tell us the risotto receipt just in case I found some trouffles in this part of the world :)

  8. That risotto looks really good.

  9. Have not seen nor tasted truffles. Only heard about this gourmet food on tv travel programmes. But your risotto sure looks yummy :)



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