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

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…

The one piece of information that I found was someone who said these are a Chinese variety of truffles, and brined (yup, that’s how they came) and that they lacked the flavour of the real deal. 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. I might try another jar sometime in a pasta sauce or a risotto. If anyone’s reading this and has used this, tell us about it in a comment!

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