Planning to cook with white truffles at home?  Want to wow your friends with an amazing truffle dinner?  Read through Chef Benno's tips for working with truffles to make the most out of the treasures. Remember, truffles are all about their fragrant aroma.  "Cooking with truffles is a craft that takes years to perfect," says Benno. "It's easy to shave a truffle, but to capture and enhance the aroma is delicate work." 

First of all, purchase your truffle fresh from an importer that you trust.  White truffles from Alba are the most widely-known; these come from the Piemonte region in northwest Italy.  You can also find them at high-end gourmet retailers.

You'll need a truffle shaver to properly shave your truffle over each dish. Don't try to cut a truffle with a knife or grate it with a cheese grater or microplane.  Only a truffle shaver will get you the super thin slices you want, and preserve the integrity of your truffle.

Shave, but don't cook, a white truffle.  A white truffle is really best simply shaved over a dish. Unlike a black truffle, which can be roasted and cooked in a variety of ways, a white truffle should be kept to just shaving.

Heat can amplify the aroma of a truffle.  It's best if the food you shave it over is heated, not cold. 

Classic ingredients that enhance a white truffle's aroma include: eggs, potatoes, and butter.  "The simplest truffle preparations are often the tastiest, shaved over gnocchi with fonduta or scrambled eggs," says Benno. "These dishes unlock the fragrance of the truffle, anything more complicated interferes with it." 

Infuse your dairy products - you'll want to make the most of your fragrant truffle. Try storing it in an enclosed container with butter and eggs - both of which will absorb the aroma and become infused with it.  (Yes, eggshells are porous). Don't store your truffle in rice - that can dry it out.  Rather, a simple paper towel or cloth will do well. 

Wine pairings - traditional pairings come from Piemonte, known for its rolling hills, fog, and iconic villages like Barolo and Barbaresco.  These compliment the earthy aromas of the white truffle, and it's worth exploring these wines for some lesser-known beauties like Serralunga d'Alba and La Morra.

Make truffle butter!  If you have leftover edges of truffle, don't waste them. Mince them finely and blend with softened butter, wrap and refrigerate.  It's perfect on a simple piece of toast.

Now you're ready to start cooking with white truffles - here's a recipe from Chef Benno for his risotto - a classic made even better with truffles!

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