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Book Review: Discovering the Great British Truffle

10 May 2013
Book Review: Discovering the Great British Truffle

Discovering the Great British Truffle
By Marion Dean and Marion Pennington
Marion Dean, £24.99

When asked to review this book, I jumped at the chance. For years my wife, Caroline, and I have been foraging for all kinds of foods, but our greatest love is edible fungi. So a book entitled Discovering the Great British Truffle sounded like it should be the perfect read. I was not disappointed.

Marion Dean recalls her journey from being a failed gardener to having a dream of growing an orchard of trees with the roots impregnated with truffles. She went on to open a school that trains truffle hounds, with the aim of searching out the great British truffle. The book travels through the history of the truffle in Britain, as well as looking at truffles from around the world including black Perigord and white Piedmont varieties.

The book is full of little anecdotes of Marion's life. Perhaps the professional chef may want more facts and a simple map showing where to find truffles, but I found these stories interesting and could relate them to my life journey as a chef and restaurateur. It takes time, dedication, patience and an understanding of nature to search for truffles.

Maz is in charge of bringing the truffle to life in the kitchen. The second part of the book looks at her fantastic recipes, many which are aimed at someone wanting to cook simple, rustic dishes, rather than the hardened pro who wants too many ingredients and too many techniques.

Personally, I love the simplicity and honesty and can't wait to try cinder truffela truffles, baked whole on the cinders of a fire for 30 to 40 minutes. The other most interesting recipes are the desserts. I first had truffle ice-cream at Paul Bajade's restaurant in Tourtour, Provence, and if truffle is used correctly in a dessert it works fantastically. I also look forward to trying the truffled rice pudding from this book.

To summarise, this book is a great read and has many interesting facts and fables that will help the reader To summarise, this book is a great read and has many interesting facts and fables that will help the reader to understand truffles. It is more interesting than other wild food and foraging books. Having been fortunate enough to gather truffles in a truffle orchard in Wiltshire, I now want a truffle dog and to hunt wild great British truffles.To summarise, this book is a great read and has many interesting facts and fables that will help the reader to understand truffles. It is more interesting than other wild food and foraging books. Having been fortunate enough to gather truffles in a truffle orchard in Wiltshire, I now want a truffle dog and to hunt wild great British truffles.to understand truffles. It is more interesting than other wild food and foraging books. Having been fortunate enough to gather truffles in a truffle orchard in.

By Alex Aitken, chef-patron, 
the Jetty, Christchurch, Dorset, 
and Harbour Hotels

If you like this, you might like these:
â- Truffles
Elisabeth Luard
â- Taming the Truffle: The History, Lore, and Science of the Ultimate Mushroom
Ian R. Hall, Gordon Brown and Alessandra Zambonelli
â- Truffles: Earth's Black Gold
Annemie Dedulle and Toni Coninck

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