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Days in the sun

With truffles, people can go either way. More than a flavor, it can excite a base reaction.

To some they taste like dirt - and they don't want them around, a reaction I first encountered with one of our busiest clients, who told me not to take them anywhere near the chef of the time or they would never buy another thing from us - or - at the opposite end of the spectrum, they evoke thoughts of pleasurable sensuality.

That is why you find truffle products linked to caviar, fresh foie gras, oysters, Champagne, fine wines and Cognac. They are associated with sophistication and luxury.

An ultimate treat food.

So it was, that I slipped away by myself for a few days with a little kit of things gathered from work to highlight whatever local ingredients I might find along the way....or guarantee me reasonably pleasurable nourishment if that was not the case.

In the kit was a little pack of products from Giuliano Tartufi which he generously sent a few of for us to use or giveaway at Xmas.

One of the stops heading north, just out of Te Hana, is someone we call Mrs Hen. If she is open you are guaranteed nice free range eggs and quite possibly some homegrown veggies as well.

I was in luck. Tomatoes, rather large courgettes and a home grown cauliflower too good to leave behind - and I figured short of a salad idea, it could always be roasted with good olive oil and salt, both of which I had, came with me, as well as the required eggs.

Once I was set up and relaxing with a book, food and wine I did not move much except for making a bit of vege juice for the next morning and finishing w a few chocolate treats I had not tried over Christmas. Oh well, how often does this happen, I figured...

The next morning, the fresh eggs and bread I had brought with me called for something other than butter to marry them together, and so I made my choice of style of egg - poached - and type of truffle product and decided on the truffle paste spreading it on the toast as it was still warm, combined with putting a small amount w a grind of good salt on the top of the large poached egg.

Seemed to work. Very pleasant sitting on the deck, listening to cicadas, birds and bees, being warmed by indirect sun with a pot of coffee up next...

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