100 Maneiras gets the “Oscar” of the white truffles
It is an “exceptional” truffle and it ended on 100 Maneiras. Found in Arezzo, Italy, the 618 gram white truffle was bought by chef Ljubomir Stanisic and is the largest one found in the region since the start of the season, on October 1st.
In addition to its size – this is the biggest truffle sold in the last 14 years by the Italian company Toscobosco and, to our knowledge, the biggest white truffle that ever came to Portugal – this truffle is also distinguished by its perfection. “It’s the most beautiful truffle we’ve ever sold,” says Elenia Ottonelli, director of Toscobosco. Another factor that makes this truffle so special is the time when it was found. Due to the lack of rain, this has been a particularly difficult season for white truffle pickers, who have been confronted with the shortage of this product.
In the region, white truffles have average sizes of 80 to 100 grams – the second largest sold by Toscobosco had a weight of 180g. Traditionally, truffles are found about 20-30 centimeters deep. However, it was within two inches of the surface that Nicola and her dog, Shunga, a two-year Border Collie, discovered the truffle auctioned by chef Ljubomir – a condition that allowed the truffle to find the moisture and protection needed to develop itself perfectly. To collect it in ideal conditions, preventing it from breaking, Nicola needed 70 minutes. It was worth it.
Much rarer than the black truffle, the white truffle can not be grown, growing only spontaneously in specific regions, such as northern Italy or southern France. Because they are not visible, developing under the earth, they can only be found with the help of dogs trained for this purpose. Extremely delicate, the white truffles can preserve their aroma and flavor for a maximum of one week. Their transportation is therefore an operation that requires the utmost care. To reach Portugal, this white truffle will travel by plane, in a controlled cold box, covered by the same earth in which it was found, in order to preserve its balance and humidity.
The truffle was delivered to chef Ljubomir Stanisic on Wednesday, November 2, and inspired him and his team to create a series of dishes specially designed for it, served at 100 Maneiras Restaurant and Bistro 100 Maneiras.
The initiative was not unprecedented – after all, the truffles are one of the chef’s passions. In 2014, the Autumn black truffles were the basis for an exclusive menu, served at Bistro 100 Maneiras. The following year, the chef went even further and traveled to Italy, from where he returned accompanied by white truffles, for a second edition of the menu “Trufa à Pazada”.
In 2016, for this exceptional truffle, the chef invited a very good friend – and amazing chef – to create the menu with him. João Rodrigues, from Michelin-Star awarded restaurant Feitoria, accepted the challenge. Together, they created. And they had much more fun!