11 Dec Local Cambridge Truffles
Unusual finds at the Mill Road Winter Fair – This year’s Mill Road Winter Fair was pretty cold and to avoid the huge crowds I decided to visit the Food Fair at Gwydir Street last. How silly could I be, even thinking that the crowds would have slimmed down by 2 o’clock! It was still packed and the narrow entrance was divided into two lanes. I have to say, the organisation of the whole day was immaculate, but this part of the fair especially.
Mill Road was already heaven for a Foodie like me, but is there a superlative for heaven? Not really, but only one step into the fair as we Dutch say, I fell with my nose right in the butter.. well delicious cheese actually. I am not only a fanatical Foodie and being Dutch there is no better start then cheese. Two kinds of cheese caught my eye straight away; the creamy Gorgonzola, which is sold at the Gogmagog Hills Farmshop and a Pecorino. I noticed it had black lines and after some investigation, I learned it was a truffle.
Wow! First shot, best shot… Could I be so lucky to kick off the Food Fair with truffle? The taste was amazing. It has a very intense flavour and although the suggestion is to grate it over pasta or risotto, I like it pure with a nice glass of sherry as it shouldn’t kill the flavour of the cheese. ( the sherry wasn’t there though!)
The Food Fair was a great place to be. A great selection of cakes, biscuits, tipples and non-chain fast food. It was great to see that the polish baker was cooking up his Polish’s Chimneys and one of my favourite stalls was the pizza maker. I have to admit, that I am a keen pizza maker myself. It stems out of my time being a buyer for one of the retailers in the Netherlands, but there is nothing better than making the dough yourself and baking the lovely thin crisp bread off in a flaming hot oven. It was clearly a big hit as even after 3 pm there were still queues.
Finding gold – Truffles
The biggest surprise of the day though was the stall with truffles. I would never have expected a truffle stall on the Mill Road Winter Fair. Their presentation was fantastic and I had a lovely chat with Laszlo Csiba about his truffles from Hungary and his plans for the future whilst he had treated me to a warming cup of Hungarian tea. I never add sugar to my tea or coffee, but this was really nice and warm! In Hungary, they drink the tea with honey and lemon.
About the truffle entrepreneurs
Laszlo and his twin sister Adrienn started recently selling Hungarian truffles in the UK or actually mainly in Cambridge at the moment. You only can find him on markets at the moment, but they will soon be online too. As you can see from the picture below, he has made some great combinations with truffles such as brie and honey. The honey is best to be added to warm toast as this brings out the best of the truffle.
The sweet secret – Sand truffle
There are many well-known uses for a truffle, but the one Laszlo surprised me with is truffle and coffee. No not a chocolate truffle. Coffee, cream and grated Sand truffle which is a type of truffle. Sand truffle is a very sweet truffle and not very common, but Hungary is one of the countries where you come across them regularly. They are just as sweet as saccharin and used in desserts. When I checked online I noticed that Sand Truffles can even be sourced in Morocco.
Local Cambridge truffles
There are an estimated 168 identified types of truffles, however, most of them aren’t edible. Around 20 of them are and some are more common than others. You can grow truffles wherever the conditions are good for them they grow. Possibly even in Cambridge! Yes, indeed Laszlo and his twin sister are going to work together with the University on a project to grow truffles in Cambridge. I think it is very exciting and I can’t wait to hear more about it. I will keep you updated on the progress of this project and if you want to know more about truffles and its uses.. keep your eyes peeled!
Are you intrigued by the young Hungarians and their story? Read what Jenny Chapman has written about them.