From The Straits Times    |

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Image: The Straits Times, Tiffany Goh

If I had the wherewithal to go to Alba every year for white truffles, I would. During truffle season, the intoxicating aroma of the prized fungi hangs in the air. The Italians are generous with it too, shaving it on food with abandon.

Use in profusion, or not at all, seems to be the mantra.

Alas, my means are much more modest. I have to look for ways to get my truffle fix without resorting to truffle oil, which contains no truffle but a facsimile of it from the chemical compound 2,4-Dithiapentane.

Recently at an Italian restaurant, I order a truffle sandwich that satisfies my truffle craving. It is simple too: toasted ciabatta spread with cream cheese and black truffle paste.

When I see truffle paste at Culina, I figure I can make my own sandwich.

It comprises 70 per cent black truffle, olive oil, truffle juice, black truffle aroma and salt. The truffle aroma seems suspiciously like 2,4-Dithiapentane, but it is quite subtle here.

Instead, there is a good aroma of the fungi without the over-the-top, too-good-to-be-true flavour of truffle oil.

Toast some ciabatta, spread with mascarpone cheese, which tastes much better than cream cheese, then spoon some of this paste over. Eat. Swoon. Repeat.

Plantin Truffle Paste, $59.50 for a 120g jar from Culina, Block 8 Dempsey Road, 01-13 Dempsey Hill, tel: 6474-7338, open: 10am to 9pm (Monday to Thursday), 9am to 9pm (Friday to Sunday)

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on January 11, 2015. For similar stories, go to You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.