Generally speaking, I'm pretty cheap when it comes to food. But there comes a time when you have something so fabulous that you're willing to buy it, regardless of price. That's what truffle salt has become to me.
On a recent vacation to Sonoma County, California, my husband and I wandered into Williamson Wines for a wine tasting. The unique part about this place is that they pair small bites of food with their tastings. Paired with a pinot noir was a piece of cheese with a small pinch of truffle salt on top. Whoa, it was AMAZING. It's sea salt that's been flavored with black truffle oil, with some small pieces of dehydrated truffles mixed in. I couldn't even tell you what type of cheese was served, but I can remember the explosion of flavor from the truffle salt. My small bite wasn't enough and I craved more. I think I ended up talking to the lady in the tasting room more about her truffle salt than the wines.
After finally realizing that I wasn't that interested in her wines, the irritated woman finally mentioned to me that I could buy the truffle salt there just to shut me up. I practically ran over to the shelf to grab one. What I saw next stopped me in my tracks, with a tight fist clenched around my jar of salt.... $30... for 3.5 ounces!!! GULP. Seriously?!? Salt is always so cheap. I knew there'd be markup on it because I was at a boutique wine tasting room, but I thought that meant it'd be around $5 at most for a small container. Ouch. I was not ready for this.
I mulled it over for awhile, but finally convinced myself that I should splurge and buy it. I was on vacation, and was allowed to treat myself. There may have been some gentle peer pressure from my hubby as well, who also loves to splurge on gourmet food. The stuff was SO GOOD, so I just went ahead and bought it without thinking about the cost too much more.
Now that I have it at home, I have to say that I don't regret the purchase one bit. I now put a pinch of the truffle salt in a pot of boiling pasta for an awesome flavor that my pasta never had before. I've tried to replicate my wine tasting experience by putting just a small sprinkle of it on cheese, but I haven't quite found the right cheese to pair it with. (If anyone knows what Williamson Wines uses, please let me know!) Now that the weather's getting nice, I'd like to try it on top of a grilled steak. It's just so good, I could eat it on about anything.
I've tried to find a less expensive version so that the purchase will be less painful when my current supply is gone, but the cheapest I've found so far is $14.62 on Amazon. Please let me know if you know of a less expensive version that's still high quality.
So if you're ready for a life changing splurge, try truffle salt. It's great on pastas, cheeses, meats, and anywhere else that goes well with mushroom flavors. The cost is painful, but it is oh so worth it.