Sydney Food Diary: Casa Barelli’s Burgundy Truffles from Aldi

Newsflash!

As of right now (28 June 2020), these truffles are back at Aldi. Maybe only this week! Run out and grab them if you like them. They’re $7 (seemed to be $8 in July 2018) and both varieties are available: the whole truffles and the salsa.

They are labelled as Tuber aestivum, which wikipedia helpfully explains in the link. However, Wikipedia says that the summer truffle is different than the Burgundy truffle, Tuber uncinatum, that is harvested earlier with a less intense aroma. And the label calls these Burgundy truffles. Oh well. The label also says they are a product of Italy: I’d read on a site originally these are Chinese truffles so I stand corrected!

We shaved them (the two truffles in the little jar) on two portions of mushroom and chicken risotto, and we found them subtle but pleasant. I mean: for the price, it’s pretty amazing.

This useful Italian website page of a truffle company (which charmingly describes their ‘hystory’ recommends that they are better cooked than raw:

Use in the kitchen: Less perfumed and flavourful than the winter truffle, more preferably used cooked.
Whole: slivers on fillet, fondue, eggs in the pan, tagliatelle.
Diced: sauté with oil and a clove of garlic, salt and pepper. The preparation can be used on pasta dishes, main courses, omelettes and eggs.

The last time I saw these (and wrote about them) was nearly two years ago! Below is what I wrote:

Aldi is a phenomenon. I love it. The middle aisles, filled with their current specials, are like a surprise door from a game show: What’s behind door number 3 today? While Aldi has provided me with various delights over time (mmm… truffle butter), a few days ago, I stumbled on a tiny jar of truffles, so to speak, from Casa Barelli labelled as Burgundy Truffles, for $8.

I was preparing an afternoon birthday party (my own) with snacks from Italy, as we’ve just returned from there. So, I thought I’d figure out a way of using them; I’m sure I was first introduced to truffles in Italy. I searched online and saw that while a number of people online have bought them from Aldi, and asked what to do with them, no one has really reported on the result. So, I thought I’d do a favour for the next person to do an online search…

I was going to douse them with truffle oil, but even the smallest bottle I could find at Harris Farms was $20, so I thought I’d be brave and do without.

While I really wanted to find savoury tart shells, I couldn’t! So, I made my own out of frozen shortcrust pastry (that turned out much better than I thought), filled them with fresh ricotta (delicious, and better than when I’ve made it myself, and relatively cheap as I went for the cow’s milk version rather than buffalo milk), and then put thin slices of the truffle on top (with a bit of basil to top it off).

The result? Not bad at all. It had the texture of shaved truffle that I’ve had in the past, slightly woody, almost a nut-like texture. It was missing a hit of truffle flavour so perhaps I should have gone for the truffle oil (or mixed in a bit of truffle oil with the ricotta). But for only $8, this was worth a try. If anyone’s reading this and has used this, tell us about it in a comment!

I liked it enough to buy another jar but this time a ‘truffle salsa’. I mixed in about one-third of the jar with some pasta and cream and… you could barely taste the flavour at all. I should have just dumped the whole jar in.

I’m amused that as of September 2019, I see that this blog post, a little over a year old, is one of the most popular posts on my website! And starting to get comments from other people who’ve bought them. If you found them, did you enjoy them? What did you do with them?

And today, in June 2020, I see some joker in Sydney is selling these on eBay for $45 and it says they’ve sold 9 of them at that price. Yikes! Say it ain’t so, Joe.

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11 Responses to Sydney Food Diary: Casa Barelli’s Burgundy Truffles from Aldi

  1. Lou Wheeler says:

    The latest jars come with a recipe using prawns and pasta and it’s great. We just add half a chilli for a little hit. Hope you’ve found the jars again in Aldi in more recent times. I bought one, cooked it and it was so good sent hubby back who bought another 6……

  2. James says:

    Available this Wednesday at Aldi. Thanks for your review.

  3. Valerie says:

    Bought a jar yesterday at Aldi in SA, was a bit suspicious, but they do come from Italy, they are summer truffles, hence why I guess the flavour is not so strong as the winter ones! I just added them to some mushrooms at last minute (they don’t like the heat as most truffles but even less) it was ok, a good quality/price value. MHO. Might try with prawns tonight.
    Cheers
    Valerie

    • andyq says:

      Love this advice. I think I will try to find them and then just shave them onto something, raw, and scrumptious! I’m surprised they’re from Italy. I thought they were Chinese!

  4. Diamond says:

    Hi. Are they used mostly as a garnish since they don’t do well when cooked? Can people share links to any special recipes? Thank you

  5. Rémi says:

    I have been desperately looking for truffles since I arrived in Australia 6 months ago. Such a good surprise it was to find this jar in Aldi while simply looking for some avocados…
    Initially frankly doubtful in regards to the price, I still took 2 jars in order to try one of my favourite recipe of Truffle Risotto.

    I agree that the taste is much less stronger than the winter ones, but for this price, it’s already a very good product.

    For those who can read french (or simply use a translator), here is the recipe I use for Truffle Risotto. https://www.marmiton.org/recettes/recette_risotto-aux-truffes_11955.aspx

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