From February 17 to March 8, in the Priorat, we celebrate the gastronomic days of the truffle and the saffron, two products with a very unique taste.
While I think of the contrasts of flavors and how different they are from each other, I also value everything they have in common, such as the aroma, which never leaves you indifferent because of their power, freshness, strength, terroir and the simplicity that nature gives us. How appreciated and valued are these two products!
And in the kitchen, they have such personality… Just put a little of truffle ans saffron on a soup or pasta dish or a meat or fish preparation, and they will highlight all the food. The same for dessert!
Undoubtedly, they are two products with a long history. In catalan cuisine, and especially in the rural world, everyone had flowers of saffron in a corner of the vegetable garden, a spice that is still used in many recipes: if in a bread soup, in a fish “suquet”, in meatballs of meat or in a catalan cream you add saffron stigmas, the dish becomes delicious.
However, it must be recognized that removing the stigmas and cleaning the flowers is not easy. It is a task that requires a lot of patience, but it is worth it.
As fas as the truffle are concerned, although today it can already be grown, in the past, it was wild. This fungus is difficult to find and you need a specialist such as the dog, who, with a much more developed sensitivity to smell than humans, can find the truffle more easily.
It is true that in the kitchen you don’t have to look for great or very expensive products to succeed: if in fried eggs or potatoes grate a little truffle, you have a very delicious dish!
In addition, as it can be preserved with oil or Brandy, this raw material can then be used in a salad or a bechamel. It can even be combined! Truffle and chocolate go well together, for example.
 menu ?

What do you think? Will you come and try the menu I will make?

Mercè Pellejà

Images of saffron by Baronia