Cavalli Tuscan Treasures

We had lunch yesterday at Original Joe’s. (I had the breaded veal cutlet Milanese with a light lemon sauce and a side of ricotta ravioli in a bolognese sauce. Both were delicious renditions of classic North Beach Italian-American fare.)

Original Joe’s bombolini puff pastry with vanilla gelato splashed with espresso and the butterscotch pudding were tempting but we decided to walk over to Cavali Cafe. We had to have one of Santo Esposito’s cannoli, the best in North Beach and an espresso.

As we entered Cavalli I noticed a handwritten sign in the window. “Truffles, Porcini, Chestnut Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil Arrived  From Italia.” The shipment from Tuscany came in yesterday. I’ve been waiting for this day for over a month.

Inside were bianchetti, spring white truffles out of the ground for just 2 days, dried porcini, just-milled chestnut flour and last fall’s first press extra virgin olive oil from a small producer near Arrezzo in Tuscany.

I told you about the fall shipment from the same Tuscan couple. This one’s just a good. The spring truffles are not quite as aromatic as the fall white truffle but they are quite good and much less expensive. Santo is selling them for $1.50/gram.

Check out my pasta recipes with truffle from last fall. You can use the bianchetti in either pasta dish. Today I shaved some bianchetto atop eggs fried in olive oil. I was in heaven.

At this price I’ll use the biachetti to flavor a good extra virgin olive oil. Maybe I’ll use one to flavor some Sicilian sea salt. And if there’s any more left I’ll chop it and mix it in with room temperature unsalted butter to store in the freezer. I’ll be all set until next fall’s truffle harvest.

The dried porcini picked last autumn are big fat slices full of flavor. Just reconstitute them in hot water and you can add deep earthy flavor to many dishes.

The olive oil is emerald gold with a full buttery taste and a nice peppery finish. This is a finishing oil that I use in salad dressings and to finish a dish. When sprinkled atop a plate of pasta or a bowl of soup just before serving the olive oil adds an extra taste dimension to the dish.

Run don’t walk to get these goodies before they’re all gone. Be warned they ain’t cheap but if you can get some you’re in for a real treat.