December 24, 2012 | Short Order
Red Farm Juggles Truffle Dealers as Fungus Price Soars
Truffles are elusive, smelly, allegedly aphrodisiacal and getting more expensive every day. But Eddie Schoenfeld, co-owner of tiny Red Farm, an “inauthentic Chinese bisto, plays the fresh truffle game, competing with major French and Italian restaurateurs, by ordering directly from dealers overseas to enhance partner Joe Ng’s plump truffled soup dumplings.
He hadn’t counted on the cuisinary innocence of U.S. Customs which recently held up a shipment asking him to supply the manufacturer’s name. “Only God can make a truffle,” he replied. But alas, it was too late, the ugly little dirtballs had rotted. So he did not have to pay the agreed upon pirce of $9—plus $150 shipping.
Schoenfeld quickly turned to Urbani Truffles, a major French truffle power with a retail shop on Tenth Avenue where he paid $875 a pound two weeks in a row. “We’re holding the price at $18 for two dumplings,” he said.
“But we also are buying white truffle cream from Urbani to round out the flavor,” he says, suggesting we try chef Ng’s newest dish: crab leg’s with black truffle sauce. 529 Hudson Street between West 10th and Charles Streets
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