Next in the festive snack lineup is a truffle-filled experience… not the chocolate version, but the savory kind! As Christmas is the season for all the blissful sweet bakes and treats, I decided to add a savory pick that would be perfect to snack on while enjoying the festivities.
It all began when I was reminiscing about a truffle ice cream I tasted back in November 2019. Yes – it is a ‘thing’! My truffle thoughts resulted in a visit to the savory snacks section in the supermarket for a walk on the gourmet side in the snacks/chips realm as a treat for the holidays.
My quest for a truffle munchie was completely hassle-free as truffle potato chips/crisps are almost-always available at the snack aisles in supermarkets around the island, so I was tempted to grab a pack to experience the taste of truffles. I’ve had black truffle potato chips before, so I was instantly keen when I spotted white truffle potato chips that also hails from Spain on the shelf. Based on the ingredients list, the chips feature a combination of white and black truffles.
Truffles are the ‘posh’ cousins in the mushroom family. Their unique character – which might take time to warm up to for some due to their acquired taste – translates into an interesting experience when they are invited for lunch or dinner. This made me more intrigued about truffles. Hence, I embarked on another mini foodie adventure with a splash of Christmas!
The Truffle Trail
Two types of truffles are included in these chips: dried black summer truffle (named T. Aestivum Vitt), and dried white truffle (called Tuber Magnatum Pico). While browsing online truffle shops that appeared in my truffle sleuthing trail, I learnt that white truffles tend to hail from Italy and Croatia. Most of the black summer truffles I spotted tend to originate from Italy, but some of them are from Spain and France. Black truffle is said to be nice as an ingredient to add to a dish while cooking. On the other hand, white truffles are delicious when they are not cooked, but rather served raw as a garnish. A fun fact is that white truffles are usually more expensive than black truffles. Also, white truffles are harvested in autumn and winter.
As these chips are from Spain, my sleuthing elf boots took me to Spain to learn a bit about truffles at Christmastime. It turns out that truffles are celebrated in traditional Spanish Christmas dinners: particularly through a dish called Pavo Trufado De Navidad – Christmas turkey stuffed with truffles. It is essentially turkey breast which is stuffed with a filling with ingredients that include truffles, bacon, and minced meats (as in, meats that have been minced rather than mincemeat in mince pies). Thinking about this dish made me want to munch on the potato chips right away!
It’s time to officially unveil the potato chips!
My first impression while I was placing a couple of pieces on my plate is that the golden-brownish chips have been cooked well. They are neither too thick nor thin, and the cut reminds me of typical ‘gourmet’ potato chips. While they do look like classic chips, the clue that indicates that these chips are different is the truffle’s aroma.
The general description of truffles’ tastes are pretty subjective as it tends to depend on the foodie’s taste buds – some people tend to find it garlicky, musky, earthy, and even mushroom-y.
My introductory bite was a reunion with a flavor that I was longing to taste after a long time. The truffles’ taste is mostly earthy, with a touch of what I can only describe as a ‘smoky’ tone that I feel is also from the truffles. My taste buds couldn’t distinguish between the two types of truffles, as their flavors are cohesive. Since the potato chip’s name places the spotlight on white truffle, my guess is that white truffle is more prominent than the black truffle.
It took a few bites in the beginning for me to get used to the flavor. Once my taste buds were re-acquainted with truffles, the flavor was just right and balanced nicely with the potatoes. The potatoes are delicious and they are a great savory canvas to shine the spotlight on the truffles. The chips are perfectly crunchy too. They are a lovely touch to my Christmas movie-watching snack sessions.
All in all, I enjoyed my truffle-licious festive experience!