Mark your calendar: Here are three opportunities to indulge in truffles from Istria in northern Croatia: May to September bring with them black summer truffles; January to March, the more aromatic, complex black winter variant; and October to December, prized white truffles. In fact, the largest white truffle specimen (1.31kg) was found in Istria’s Motovun Forest in 1999. To store them, place in an airtight jar filled with rice, and store in the crisper compartment of your fridge. Use any leftovers for amazing truffle butter, which is best frozen until you need to use it.
For a convenient off-season truffle fix, try these flavoured extra-virgin olive oils from Plantin, a 90-year-old French company based in Provence. While truffle oil is really an ersatz product, the company handles 20 to 30 tonnes of the actual fungus each year, so they’d probably know a thing or two about replicating the flavours of the real deal.
Unlike the usual hyperbole-inspiring sweets such as chocolate, jam seems pedestrian – and something a European grandmother would make in her kitchen with surplus fruit. That’s until one mentions the preserves from “Jam Fairy” Christine Ferber. Operating out of a tiny village in Alsace, France, the pastry chef attends to every single jar that passes through her kitchens. Some end up in the hands of the best chefs around the world, including Alain Ducasse, and – right here in Singapore – Cheryl Koh.
No time for an extended holiday in Italy? Get a taste of the countryside with these award-winning olive oils from the estate of Bologna luxury resort Palazzo di Varignana. Just like fine wine, these oils offer complex, intense, organoleptic experiences – with subtle differences across every vintage. This set of three expressions offers you a chance to pair EVOO with different foods – try the robust Riserva Rosso Blend with red meat.
Whoever came up with the phrase “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” clearly never had a proper, aged balsamic vinegar. Sweet, rich, and startlingly complex, a few drops of this dark, viscous liquid will add a layer of depth and balanced sweetness to everything from pasta and cheese to fruit and even ice cream. The 25-Year-Old Gold Label, produced by Il Borgo del Balsamico in Reggio Emilia (northern Italy), is extracted after a minimum ageing process of 12 years from a variety of ancient wooden casks, including oak, juniper, and chestnut.