We're honored that you've come to visit our website and have an interest in what is becoming the Great American Truffle Revival. Truffles have been revered and prized for thousands of years. Buried under the earth, growing in total darkness, and hidden from view, the European Black Truffle can't help but elicit passion once you have been blessed by its incredible flavor profile. Come spend a few minutes with us to discover why it is called "The Diamond of Gastronomy".
The truffle has long been one of the most prized and desirable mushrooms since the earliest of civilizations. Clay tablets from Mesopotamia, dating back to 2,400 B.C., describe the desirability and delicacy of truffles to the nomadic Bedouin Amorites in Northern Syria. These desert truffle relatives of the European forest truffle, were even mentioned in a 4th century Talmudic passage stating that truffles somehow spontaneously emerged from the soil or air all by themselves.
We can thank the ancient Greeks (~ 350 B.C.) for the long-held belief that truffles possess aphrodesiac qualities. Aristotle and Pythagoras believed the they acted as sexual stimulants. It's even rumored that the Marquis de Sade and Napoleon Bonaparte consumed them for this reason!
The ancient Romans prized truffles for culinary use and adopted them as unofficial political currency from the mysterious Etruscans. It's said that Pliny the Elder believed that black truffles were a "...spontaneous agglomeration of elemental earth". The philosopher Plutarch of Chaeronea was sure that the black truffle originated from the combination of rainwater, earth and a bolt of lighting. Even the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antonius loved putting truffles on exotic dishes including flamingo brains and peacock tongues. Some ancient Roman recipes called for truffles wrapped in fat and grilled over an open fire.
During the renaissance, Italian nobles considered truffles a precious gift exchanged as a form of honor and friendship.
The smell of black truffles is very difficult to describe. Descriptions range from sulfurous garlic to a sweet, musky body odor. The "scent" of the truffle is actually created by the fungus itself as well as from symbiotic soil microbes (bacteria). The combined relationship contributes to the black truffle's distinctive sulfurous, grassy and chocolate-whiskey aroma.
A major component in the aroma is the molecule "androstenone". This natural chemical smells like a combination of sandalwood, vanilla and urine. This is the same chemical produced by male pigs to attract female pigs and why female pigs make such great truffle hunters!
Today, the most common edible truffles are:
White Truffle or Trifola - Tuber magnatum Pico:
Harvest: September/October until late December
The perfume of this truffle is particularly marked and is very particular, remindful of cheese and garlic; its flavor may seem slightly hot and vaguely similar to that of Italian grana cheese.
Périgord truffle or black truffle - Tuber melanosporum:
Harvest: from 15 November to 15 March
The perfume is aromatic, not particularly pungent, and the flavor is delicate. (This is the truffle we grow in our orchard!)
Bianchetto or whitish truffle - Tuber borchii Vitt.(or albidium):
Harvest: from 15 January to 30 April
The perfume is penetrating and remindful of garlic, and the flavor, not particularly pleasant, sometimes make it difficult to digest, even after cooking.
Black summer truffle, Scorzone - Tuber aestivum Vitt.:
Harvest: from 1 May to 31 August
The perfume is more delicate than that of other black truffles, and its flavor is remindful of that of porcini mushrooms.
Smooth black truffle, garlic truffle - Tuber macrosporum
Harvest: from 1 September to 31 December
The perfume is similar to that of the much prized white truffle. Its flavor is very pleasant.
Common black truffle - Tuber mesentericum
Harvest: from 1 September to 31 January
The perfume is characteristic, remindful of bitumen or phenol. The flavor is slightly bitter.
Black winter truffle - Tuber brumale
Harvest: From 1 January to 15 March
The perfume is intense but pleasant, and the flavor is marked but not particularly fine.
Moscato truffle Tuber brumale Moschatum De Ferry
Harvest: from 15 November to 15 March
It differs from Tuber brumale for its stronger smell, more penetrating and similar to musk, and for its spicier, more intense flavor.
The truffle grows underground and a truffle orchard looks like a tree farm. Like all mycorrhizal species, the truffle grows in symbiosis with the roots of very specific trees,
The black perigold winter truffle is extremely difficult to cultivate, which is the reason for its rarity and expensive price. Researchers blame the fungi's strange sex life for some of the problem. While other fungi can reproduce asexually, black truffles reproduce sexually. They require a "mating" ritual between male and female organisms.
Unfortunately, in the wild, black mushrooms are usually found in single-sex colonies. Even when mixed, they tend to be dominated by one sex or the other. So they have to rely on animals, like pigs or insects, to transport the spores of one sex or the other to the colonies to facilitate reproduction.
Our host orchard of hazelnut trees has been inoculated by a patented strain of the Périgord truffle or black winter truffle (Tuber melanosporum). We conduct constant biological monitoring of our trees, truffles and soil conditions which results in increased yields and significant higher quality.
CTC is proud to be one of the few U.S. truffle growers in the United States using this hardy and aromatic strain under license from its creators.
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1 oz black truffles (30 g), fresh
3,5 oz unsalted butter (100 g), diced
Let the butter soften at room temperature for a couple of hours. It has to be very smooth and creamy for this truffle butter recipe.
Finely chop or grate the (fresh) truffles and add it to the soft butter.
Season the butter with a pinch of pepper, salt and garlic powder.
Stir well again until you get a very creamy mixture. Then scrape the butter together using a rubber spatula and transfer it to a clean jar.
May be stored cold for 1-2 weeks.
For the chardonnay cream sauce:
6 tablespoons chardonnay
½ medium shallot, minced
1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground white pepper
For the pasta:
1 ounce fresh black truffle
½ pound fresh fettuccine
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
For the chardonnay cream sauce:
Put the wine and minced shallot in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 1 tablespoon, about 3–5 minutes. Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering until the sauce has reduced by about a third and is slightly thickened but still fluid, about 5–7 minutes. Keep the sauce warm. When ready to serve, stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and white pepper.
For the pasta:
Shave half of the truffle into the pan of cream sauce, stir gently, cover, and keep warm.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, tender but still slightly chewy, following the suggested cooking time on the package. Remove from the heat and drain.
Return the pasta to the hot pot in which it was cooked. Stir the Parmigiano-Reggiano into the sauce, then add the sauce to the pasta and toss to coat well. Taste and, if necessary, season with salt and white pepper.
Transfer to a warm serving platter or individual pasta bowls. Shave the remaining truffle over the pasta and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
1 pound Scottish salmon
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
5 stems of scallion (finely chopped)
20 each guindilla peppers, finely chopped (save brine)
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 quail eggs
2 tablespoons fresh sliced black truffles
In a medium bowl mix sugar and salt. Coat salmon with mix and let sit for 40 minutes. (This is called curing). After 40 minutes in salt and sugar, rinse salmon in cold water and pat dry. Cut salmon in large cubes. Set aside in refrigerator.
In a separate bowl, mixed chopped guindilla, scallion, and parsley. Add olive oil and 2 tbsp of the guindilla pepper brine. Make like rough chopped pesto.
Place 2 tablespoons each of gondola mix to 4 plates of choice. Divide salmon in four 4oz portions. Place on top of gondola mix. Separate yolks on salmon. Put 1/2 a tbsp of truffle tapenade for last touch.
125 gr brown mushrooms, washed and patted dry
40 gr shiitake mushrooms, washed and pattens dry
4 gr garlic (1 large clove)
4 gr fresh rosemary needles of (1 sprig)
50 gr kalamata olives de-seeded
2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
1/2 tsp olive oil
Small fresh black truffle
6 gr flatleaf parsley
Roughly chop the mushrooms, shitake, garlic, rosemary and parsley
Heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add the garlic being careful not to burn it, Then add the rosemary with a bit of pepper and salt and cook for 2 minutes
Add the mushrooms and shitake and fry for another 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool down fr about 10 minutes.
Put the mushroom mixture, together with the kalamata olives and parsley in the blender and blend or pulse. Add the truffle, olive oil, pepper and salt to your own taste. Make sure your mixture holds a bit of structure!
Garnish with rosemary and parsley
4 pounds small to medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon olive oil
Small fresh black black truffle (grated)
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Remove and drain. Chop into smaller chunks and place into a ricer or food mill and purée.
Gently stir in the butter and drizzle the oil on top. Add the grated black truffle. Add a pinch of salt and gently stir again to blend well. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Sometimes you want a dish that is so incredible, the moment your guests eat it their eyes widen, vocabulary stammers and smiles start to stretch across their faces …. Then come the inevitable proclamations of wonder and adoration. No more pulling punches, you are going straight for the “wow” factor. Something that may be one of the best things your guests have had in their life.
"Bacon and Eggs" Truffle Infused Custards w/ Crispy Prosciutto
YIELD: 8 CUSTARDS
8 lrg Eggs (the fresher the better)
2/3 c Heavy Cream
2/3 c Milk
1 1/2 T Truffle Oil
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 T Fresh chives (finely diced)
1 oz (2-3 slices) Prosciutto
1/3 c Veal or Chicken Stock
dash of white wine vinegar
1 t unsalted Butter
1/2 T Oilive Oil (EVOO)
1 Small fresh black truffle
Instructions for the custards
Prepare the Egg Shells
With an egg topper or serrated knife, cut off wider end of the egg (make sure cut is low enough that a spoon can fit in the opening.) If cutting with a serrated knife, lay the egg on a towel, and with a steady but gentle sawing motion, cut halfway through width of egg.
Remove knife, turn egg upright, and pop off the top of the egg. Pour 2 of the eggs into a bowl to reserve for the custard, and the others you can save for any other kitchen uses you might have for them. Reserve the paper egg carton. Reserve the shell bodies.
Under running water, using your fingers, carefully remove the membrane from inside the shell bodies. Clean up any loose shell pieces from the edges of the shell cavity, then set aside.
Prepare the Custards
preheat oven to 275°F
In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream and milk. As soon as it reaches a boil, transfer to a blender. Carefully pulsing, slowly build speed of blender to prevent extreme splattering. While blending, add the 2 reserved eggs, truffle oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher that pours well. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then skim foam from top of custard.
Place shell bodies upright into reserved egg carton (cut away extra spaces to make carton smaller.) Carefully pour custards into shells, filling about 85% full. (If pitcher is pouring like a bitch, use a funnel to help aim the pours.)
Using a pan that is a least 3 1/2 - 4" deep, fill about 1" of hot water into the pan. Place custards (carton and all) into the water, and top off with more water (if necessary) to have water level reach 3/4ths up the sides of the eggs. Place pan into oven, cover with a lid or baking sheet, and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until custards are set. Remove from oven and set aside (They can stay in the warm water for about 2 hours if needed.)
Prepare the Finishing Touches and Ragout
Heat a saute pan over med-high heat, add a touch of oil, and crisp up prosciutto (just like cooking bacon.) Dab on paper towels to remove excess oils, then cut into 1/2"x 2" pieces (there will be spare tidbits you'll get to snack on.)
Dice the chives.
Put the stock and fish sauce into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon. There should be about 3 T of sauce.
Swirl in the butter, black truffles shavings and oil into the reduced stock. Season to taste. Place each egg in a cup, and spoon about 1 t of ragout on top of the custards. Add a sprinkling of diced chives, then place a prosciutto crisp in each egg.
Creamy brie, enhanced with the earthy delicious flavors of black truffle all baked to oozing delicious perfection! Seriously this Baked Black Truffle Stuffed Brie is decadence and heaven on a plate!
1 medium brie wheel - around 200g
10 g black truffle (see notes)
1 tbsp olive oil
A pinch of salt and black pepper
Preheat oven 180°C/350°F.
Remove all the packaging from your brie, but if it came in a wooden box keep this for later.
Use a sharp knife to cut a circle in the top of your brie. You want to go through the rind and a little into the cheese.
Peel this back and use a teaspoon to scrape a small amount of cheese away (eat this - chefs perk!)
Finely grate the truffle over the cheese, drizzle over the olive oil and add a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Cover the truffle back up with the circle of rind you removed earlier Wrap the brie in cooking paper and then tightly in tinfoil.
Place the brie on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until completely molten.
To serve, remove the tinfoil and carefully slide the cheese back into its wooden box.
Serve with plenty of bread and some apple slices.
If available, serve with 'french breakfast' radishes as they have a mild flavor.
Serve with champagne or Swiss "vinzel" wine
3/4 pound Fontina cheese, diced
1/4 pound Swiss Gruyère,diced
1/2 c milk (to cover cheese)
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (2 tablespoons or 50 gr) butter
3 ounces fresh black truffles, shaved
Place the diced Fontina and Gruyère cheese in a large bowl and cover with milk. Let rest in the fridge for several hours.
In a saucepan, place the butter, egg yolks and cheese, along with all the milk. Place the saucepan on top of another saucepan containing boiling water (a bain marie or double broiler is preferable) and stir energetically and continuously until the cheese begins to melt.
When the fondue is a dense, creamy consistency, remove from the bain marie. Keep the fondue warm and serve with the shaved black truffle scattered on top.
Enjoy with plenty of grilled bread.
2 slices French bread (crust removed), broken into pieces
140 ml (⅔ cup) whole milk
500 g (2 ¼ cups) finely minced (ground) beef (or a mixture of meats, such as pork, chicken or turkey)
100 g (½ cup) duck pate
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Plain (all-purpose) flour (for dusting)
Olive oil (for frying)
For the Truffle Sauce
25 g butter
A drizzle of olive oil
1 bunch of spring onions
1 carrot (finely chopped)
75 g button or oyster mushrooms, finely chopped
25 g plain flour
60 ml white wine
1/2 lite beef, chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
100 ml double cream
2 fresh black truffles
Place the bread in a bowl and pour in the milk. Set aside to soak.
In a separate bowl, mix together the meat and the pate. Add the soaked bread and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix until smooth and well combined. Form meatballs by rolling walnut-sized pieces of the mixture between your hands. They should be about 30g (1oz) each. Dust the meatballs in flour. Heat some oil in a shallow pan over a medium-high heat and fry the meatballs just until they are golden. Do not overcook at this stage as we are going to finish them in the sauce. Set aside.
To make the sauce, heat the butter and olive oil in a pan over a medium-low heat and add the finely chopped spring onions, carrots and mushrooms. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onion is transparent. Reduce the temperature to low and add the flour to the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon to make a roux. Cook for about 4 minutes and then add the wine, continuing to stir until you get a paste and the alcohol has evaporated, then add the stock with the salt and rosemary. Keep stirring and cooking until the sauce thickens, then add the cream, stirring so that the mixture doesn’t split or curdle.
Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Grate the truffles into the sauce and serve immediately as the truffles lose their aroma quickly.
25g - 30g fresh black truffles
8 - 50g free-range eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4 slices of your favorite bread, toasted. (Try organic sourdough)
50g butter, at room temperature
80g fresh baby spinach
1 clove garlic, finely crushed
200g unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons hot water
Ground black pepper, to taste
To make the hollandaise sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Use a metal spoon to skim any foam from the surface. Pour the clear yellow butter into a heatproof jug. Discard milky residue. Place egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and ½ the hot water in a blender. Blend on high until mixture is pale and thickens slightly. With the motor running, add hot butter in a thin, steady stream.
Add remaining water to thin the sauce slightly. Season with pepper, and extra lemon juice and salt, if necessary.
For the Poached Eggs
Fill a wide saucepan with water until approximately 8cm deep. Add vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low-medium - water should be just simmering, with small bubbles rising from the base of pan and small ripples across the top of the water.
Using a slotted spoon, stir simmering water in one direction to create a whirlpool (this will help to give your poached eggs a neat shape).
Crack the eggs into centre of whirlpool, as close to water as possible. Cook for 2-3 minutes for a semi-soft yolk or 3-4 minutes for a firm-set yolk, without stirring.
Using the slotted spoon, remove and transfer eggs to drain on a plate lined with paper towels. If doing larger quantity of eggs, during and between cooking eggs, use slotted spoon to skim any foam from water surface.
Toast your bread slices and spread with the butter, if desired.
While toasting the bread, on medium heat, melt the butter in a medium fry pan. Add the crushed garlic and spinach and wilt for 2 minutes.
Arrange toast, steamed spinach and eggs on plates and drizzle with hollandaise to your taste.
To finish, finely shave fresh black truffles over the top.
Recipe serves 4
150 g/ 1 cup and 1/4 chestnut flour (sifted)
50 ml/ 1/4 cup milk
For the Garnish:
350 g/ 3/4 pounds morel mushrooms
4 eggs, poached
Chives (finely chopped)
1 black truffle (shavings)
1 tbsp crème fraîche or sour cream
50 ml/ 1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
2 shallots, finely sliced
Butter, for frying
Instructions for the pancakes:
Fry shallots in 1 tsp butter or olive oil in a frying pan until golden. Set aside. In a bowl, mix sifted chestnut flour, baking powder, 1 egg, milk, water, crème fraîche (or sour cream) and salt. Mix well and leave to rest for 30 minutes. In a frying pan, melt 2 tsp butter and pour batter to make individual pancakes, sprinkling a few shallots on each one. Fry approximately for 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm. (You can make 4 pancakes or a few smaller ones.)
Instructions for the mushrooms:
In a hot pan, fry the morel mushrooms ‘bare’ to dry them out for a 2-3 minutes, then add 1 tsp butter, salt and black pepper and continue frying for 2-3 more minutes. Set aside.
Instructions for the poached eggs:
In a shallow pan of boiling water, add 2 tsp of vinegar. Prepare your eggs by breaking them into little cups/pots so it’s easier to pour into the boiling water. When the water is boiling, pour in the eggs in different areas (maximum four at a time – or the water temperature will get cooler). Leave them alone, cover with a lid for 3 minutes, then check if they need a bit of ‘pushing and shoving’ to make their form rounder. You can use a large slotted spoon for this. Depending on how well you like your eggs cooked, 3 minutes should complete the task. When ready spoon each egg at a time onto a plate. Set aside.
Place chestnut pancakes on a plate, add the poached egg, a few mushrooms to garnish, finely chopped chives, coarse sea salt and black pepper. Shave black truffles over the top.
ttention truffle lovers: this decadent pasta has your name written all over it. Despite its straightforward appearance, this pasta dish has a depth of flavor and richness that is rarely found in dishes with this few ingredients.
8 oz. fresh long shaped pasta, preferably Tagliatelle
1 oz. Rodolphe Salted Butter
2 oz. Black Truffle Butter (See previous recipe!)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp EVOO Oil
1/4 lb. Grana Padano, grated
4-6 grams fresh black truffle
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water liberally with salt – about half a cup of kosher salt for every 4 quarts of water.
While the water is coming up to a boil, heat the butter, olive oil, and cream in a large pan over medium heat until foaming.
Drop the pasta into the water, and cook through, between four to six minutes.
Once cooked, add the pasta to the truffle butter and cream sauce, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water.
Toss the pasta thoroughly in the sauce in a circular motion while still on the stove top. This should also create a smooth emulsion of the butter and cream. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water, if too thin, continue to cook in the pan until a creamy consistency is reached.
Portion onto four plates, then garnish with the grated cheese and fresh truffle.
"...like earth and sky and sea. I felt at one with nature, that my mouth was filled with the taste of the earth. There was a ripeness, a naughtiness, something beyond description … it was utter luxury and earthiness combined."
"...the truffle is very nourishing, and causes general excitation, conducive to sensual pleasure."
"At the time I write, the glory of the truffle has now reached its culmination. Who would dare to say that he has been at a dinner where there was not a pièce truffée? Who has not felt his mouth water in hearing truffles a la provencale spoken of? In fine, the truffle is the very diamond of gastronomy."
When asked by a social-climbing Paris hostess how he liked his truffles, Curnonsky replied, "In great quantity, madame. In great quantity."
"Presently, we were aware of an odour gradually coming towards us, something musky, fiery, savoury, mysterious, - a hot drowsy smell, that lulls the senses, and yet enflames them, - the truffles were coming."
“Truffles - anyone who does not declare himself ready to leave Paradise or Hell for such a treat is not worthy to be born again.”
Creston may seem like an unlikely place to grow truffles. But if you were to draw a latitudinal line from San Luis Obispo County (Central California) to Europe, you'd wind up in the heart of Italy, one of the homes for white and black truffles.
Creston (named after Calvin J. Cressy) was founded in 1884 on the Rancho Huerhuero Mexican land grant which is located in Central California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, just 15 short miles from the Pacific Coast. It is blessed with a wonderful climate, The rainy season is relatively short (24" of rain over 49 days). Yet what it lacks in rain, Creston gets, on average, 286 sunny days ranging from a low of 37º in January to a high of 88º in July. Creston ranks 8.3/10 on the BestPlaces Comfort Index!
While the summer is warm and dry, during the Winter and Spring the land bursts into green life and no words can really express the beauty of the hills when they explode in emerald, Kelly, mint, hunter and shamrock greens.
Our water comes from deep private wells punctured into a massive and pure aquifer holding some of the purest and best-tasting water in the world.
The bottom line: Creston is a perfect "new" home for the black European truffle.
California natives, Stephen and Sherrie Krauss, have made their home on the Central Coast of California since 1978. (They've been married for more than 40 years!) Both are accomplished entrepreneurs who have combined backgrounds in the recording, publishing, health and nutrition, marketing and couture clothing design. Sherrie was introduced to the beauty of truffles when taking French cooking lessons. (Sherrie is a phenomenal chef!) It was natural for the both of them to turn their ranch in Creston, CA into a sustainable habitat for one of their passions: the black European truffle.
We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.
5874 Irongate Road, Creston, California 93432, United States
Our orchard is in a private gated ranch community in Creston, California. Visitors are permitted on an individual and pre-arranged basis. Please contact us for more information.