Truffle honey, you say? This was a new one to me, but a gourmet friend who last year bought me a jar of Da Rosario White Truffle Acacia Honey suggested it would pair well with cheeses – drizzled over ricotta, or with aged Parmesan and goat’s cheeses. It’s also delicious served simply on crusty bruschetta – as I have been devouring it ever since. And it greatly enhances a turkey sandwich, especially when it’s sprinkled with crunchy sea salt.
Da Rosario is an organic line of truffle products founded by the gregarious Rosario Safina, who is considered something of a truffle master. Indeed, he is the supplier of these prized white and black tubers to Nobu restaurants around the world.
Safina explains that the White Truffle Acacia Honey ($21 for 125ml) has a traditional background. “This recipe was started by truffle hunters in the Piedmont region, who would stuff the smaller, leftover pieces into vats of honey in order to preserve them. Honey is so molecularly dense that it acts like a vacuum, allowing the scent of the truffles to be released into the viscous mixture over time.” At the end of each hunting season, a feast would be prepared of roast duck and cheesy polenta drizzled with this special honey, and all washed down with a bottle of Barolo.
Today, the pieces of white truffle are sourced from one of three certified organic farms in Umbria; these are added to organic acacia honey (which has a lower sugar content than the clover variety), made from the flowering acacia trees of eastern Europe or the Himalayas. It is the perfect mix of subtly sweet and rich, earthy flavours.
Nowadays you can’t get certified organic North American honey – the bees are always exposed to pesticides and toxins – and this has further endeared me to Da Rosario’s unique condiment. Now I just need to up my cooking skills to recreate the truffle hunters’ original duck feast.