A humongous Italian truffle in Alba.Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/Getty
For Americans, this time of year means turkeys and pumpkin pies. For Italians, and owners of the world's most expensive restaurants, it means white truffles. From late October until Christmas, the ten-week season is one of the shortest — and most profitable — on the culinary calendar. But this year, a hot, dry summer has left many patches barren, and some are calling it one of the scarcest truffle seasons ever. Even still, restaurants don't seem to be having too much trouble tracking truffles down this year. How so? We tracked truffles from Italy to restaurant tables in the U.S. to find out.
Ever been to a truffle nursery?
If you're like us, you were woken up at 2 a.m. by a call from your 80-year-old grandmother in Butte wondering who exactly this Pete Wells person is and what did Guy Fieri ever do to him that would cause the New York Times to publish such a negative review of the Food Network host's sprawling 500-seat restaurant in Times Square. The review — in which Wells compares the house margaritas to radiator fluid and formaldehyde and ruminates, in an all-question format, about the exact origins of Guy's "Donkey Sauce" — has now been tweeted around the world. As should be expected, Wells has some new fans, and Fieri has some staunch supporters here in New York. But the rest of the county? Let's just see what @teenmom4evr has to say about all of this.
Strong language and adult situations ahead.
Here's a quick tour inside the waterfront Fairway supermarket in Red Hook, which was hit with 15-foot waves and flooded with five feet of water during the storm. The store is in the process of rebuilding. The good news is that they're adding a second-floor restaurant; the bad news, however, is that judging by the fact they had to throw all the food, groceries, and equipment away and the space is completely bare inside, it looks like Fairway 2.0 may take some time.
Even the coffee roaster is going.