What it is: White truffle honey is a mild-tasting honey infused with white truffle (also known as Tuber magnatum). White truffles hail from the Piedmont region of northern Italy and can fetch close to $3,000 per pound in the October–November season. Their exorbitant price makes tasting these delicacies an indulgence reserved for a privileged few, but their flavor has been preserved in honey by Tuscans for many years as a wallet-friendly alternative to purchasing a whole truffle.
How I discovered it: On the hunt for something special to serve with a dessert panino for a panini party I threw a months ago, I discovered a jar of white truffle honey at DeLaurenti. The fig, Stilton and white truffle honey mini panini were a hit, but the extra jar of honey I bought has been stowed away in the back of my cupboard ever since.
How to use it in the kitchen: Recently, when I was preparing to roast a chicken for supper with lemon, honey, garlic and herbs, I discovered I was out of plain honey. So instead, I brushed a bit of white truffle honey over the skin of the chicken before popping it in the oven. The truffle honey imbued the crispy chicken with a deep, sensually earthy flavor. Dinner that night ended with a marionberry tart (which has become my formerly dessert-hating husband’s favorite), so I took my experimentation further and incorporated a bit of honey into the crème fraîche I served with the tart. The buttery, sweet tart shell encased a warm, jammy layer of marionberries, crowned with a thin batter that bakes up golden and lovely. As dinner was a success, I started using white truffle honey anywhere I would use regular honey—such as for a foie gras tarte tatin I recently made, served with a white truffle honey caramel sauce, or poured over chestnut crêpes in lieu of maple syrup. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, in a marinade, a glaze or drizzled as a topping. It can even dress up a no-cook meal of cheese, cured meats and buttered baguette with minimal effort!
Where to find it: Lulu White Truffle Honey ($13.49 per 9-ounce jar) is available at DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine (Pike Place Market, 1435 First Ave.; 206.622.0141).