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Simply Truffles: Recipes and Stories That Capture the Essence of the Black Diamond Hardcover – November 8, 2011

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Hardcover, November 8, 2011
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Simply Truffles: Recipes and Stories That Capture the Essence of the Black Diamond + Taming the Truffle: The History, Lore, and Science of the Ultimate Mushroom + Truffles: Earth's Black Diamonds
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006191519X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061915192
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“If you have that truffle craving and are not the recipient of a fat trust fund, you’re better off buying a truffle and cooking it yourself. . . . Patricia Wells comes to the rescue. . . . . A powerhouse cooking teacher and cookbook author.” (

From the Back Cover

Celebrated journalist, author, and teacher Patricia Wells reveals the secrets behind the legendary truffle in this charming cookbook—featuring lush color photographs and sixty delectable recipes

What delicacy is more revered or less understood than the black truffle? Its scent is heady, its flavor sublime, and lovers of truffles are just as fascinated by the history, lore, and mystique of truffle-hunting as they are eager to eat the truffles themselves. Patricia Wells explores the subject in depth, explaining how to capture the true flavors of this rarity, examining what to do with a single truffle, expanding and embellishing its extraordinary aroma, texture, flavor, and pure gastronomic pleasure. Drawing upon twenty-five years of hands-on research in Provence, the modern world’s capital of the black truffle, she offers sixty tried-and-true, well-tested recipes that capture the truffle’s exceptional and complex flavor.

Enjoy Creamy Polenta with Truffles and Poached Eggs for a weekend brunch. Dine on Seared Duck Breast with Truffled Sauce Poulette or Truffle Risotto with Parmesan Broth. For casual entertaining, try Pecorino-Romano and Truffle Pizza. And for a wonderful cold winter evening, whip up a batch of Pumpkin Soup with Truffle Cream, Curry, Pumpkin Seed Oil, and Truffles.

In addition to her recipes, Wells provides a range of menu suggestions and wine pairings, perfect for serving food with just a hint of truffle flavor or preparing a holiday feast for friends and family. The story and folklore behind the pursuit of truffles round out this extensive cookbook—perfect for connoisseurs and novices alike.

More About the Author

Patricia Wells is a journalist, author, and teacher who runs a popular cooking school--At Home with Patricia Wells--in Paris and Provence. Salad As A Meal is her twelfth book. She won the James Beard Award for The Provence Cookbook, Patricia Wells at Home in Provence, and Simply French. Also nominated for Beard Awards were Vegetable Harvest and The Paris Cookbook. With her husband, Walter, she is also the author of We've Always Had Paris . . . and Provence. The French government has honored her as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, recognizing her contribution to French culture. A former New York Times reporter, she is the only foreigner and only woman to serve as restaurant critic for a major French publication, L'Express. For more than twenty-five years she was the global restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sweetiebeane on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up today for a friend - I HAD to buy it for her (at full price)> I flipped through it briefly - This is NOT a good book for the home cook who simply wants some newer or more interesting every day recipes. This is a good book for the foodie who enjoys reading cookbooks or who is adventurous enough and has the means to cook from the recipes. Patricia Wells succeeded in her objective: to create a book dedicated to uplifting the truffle in all its complex and nuanced glory. The recipes are all excellent - and easy to follow. Not complex in the least save for the expense of the truffle.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Books and Chocolate TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a book about black truffles, a type of mushroom that grows in the the Périgord region in France. Mostly a cookbook, it also includes information about the history and folklore surrounding this mushroom, also known as the "black diamond."

I found the information interesting and the recipes seem delicious on a gourmet level. I have never tried truffles or truffle oil, mainly because of the expense and lack of availability in the rural area in which I live. However, while I wasn't able to find truffles locally and wasn't willing to pay $55 for one (yes, one) from an online source, I was able to find truffle oil and used it to make the recipe for scrambled eggs, substituting the oil for actual truffles. I did like the taste it gave the dish. I also used a bit on some pasta with good results.

This seems to be a good cookbook with recipes that could be made without the addition of truffles, but I think those who are more adventurous, have access to the kinds of gourmet ingredients needed (and the budget to afford them), and who enjoy gourmet French cuisine, will appreciate this book more than the average cook.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By George Erdosh on January 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Having an unlimited food budget and preferable cooking in a kitchen on the French Mediterranean coast, Simply Truffles should be on your kitchen book shelf. For a normal American home cook with modest budget, this cookbook is a waste. Truffle is beyond most of our reach or interest at $2000 a pound. Patricia Wells recommends one-third ounce per serving, still a hefty $80 when cooking a meal for two, not including the extra truffle butter and truffle salt. Some recipe ingredients, mainly French cheeses (no substitutes given), you will not find except in a well-stocked cheese shop. Or fresh duck foie gras. Or ultra-fresh eggs for which the author insists. In the first 10 pages of introduction you learn all about the French/Italian/Spanish truffles. The recipes are good but they are basically fairly common recipes using truffles instead of the more available (and far cheaper) mushrooms. They are well written but mostly time-consuming to make. Many require two or three preparations to make that appear in the last chapter called Pantry. You will scratch your head how to prepare truffles warmed in wood cinders. Layout of recipes is poor, many flipping inconveniently to overleaf pages. Index is brief but good.
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