Tuscany Vs. Tennessee: Inside Spiaggia's Lavish Truffle Dinner With Blackberry Farm
In this corner, the black truffles of Tuscany, legendary for the intoxicatingly complex and musky aromas even the slenderest shavings impart to a dish. And in this corner, Tennessee truffle, no that's not a euphemism for a part of a hog or something, but actual Perigord truffles cultivated in Tennessee (whose soil and climate are said to be perfect for the species) by planting hazelnut trees whose roots are inoculated with truffle spores. Can they measure up to the Old World originals? That was the question behind last week's dinner at Spiaggia, in which chef Joseph Lenn of Tennessee's acclaimed Blackberry Farm joined Spiaggia's Tony Mantuano and Sarah Grueneberg for a truffle-off. The fungi flowed freely as each side lavished diners with freshly shaved truffles tableside. Our man Huge Galdones was there (with his nose for great images) at what will surely rank as one of the year's most decadent dining events; check out his slideshow below.