Monday, February 06, 2006

Meeting Monsieur Truffe!

You didn't actually believe what I said about chocolate, did you? Actually, it was true - even the Godiva was heat affected and just didn't taste right. So why bother hey? Well, on a tipsy turvy weekend, I wound up gallivanting through raspberry farms on Saturday and so Sunday became marketing day. Not up to facing the hordes at the Vic, I went to the decidedly empty Prahran Markets. They have been trying to enourage Sunday trading at this venue, but it really hasn't caught on. Hardly any vendors open, although there are enough of each to make it worthwhile if, like me, your cupboards are bare (or just full of heat-affected chocolate!).

Anyhow, I was troopsing through and doing some minor celebrity spotting, when I caughy sight of someone far more interesting, Monsieur Truffe. I've come across this gent, selling his chocolately wares, before, but never stopped for more than a glance. This time I did. And I fell, fell, fell.

Here I think that tasting is key. Monsieur Truffe had several varieties on display, with more in the chiller at his side. About five were cut for tasting and away I went. The classic ganache was pleasant but it was the mountain pepper which wooed me. Reminiscent of Dolfin's pink peppercorn variety but much much better. Small shards of native Tasmanian mountain pepperberry and not whole peppercorns, which were, let's face it, a bit much in the Dolfin bar. A crisp finish to the square truffle and then a dusting of cocoa. Exquisite. Superb, in fact.

I mosied through the others but nothing touched me the same way. Some purveryors get edgy when you sample away but Monsieur Truffe seemed delighted, his enthuiasm for his chocolates spilling over. I selected a package of my favourite and he was genuinely apologetic that he only had them in the 12 truffle packet. Trust me, there was nothing to apologise for, they didn't even last 3 days in this house. While he was putting the chocolates into a paper bag, he encouraged me, to try the passionfruit truffle, the only one I'd left untasted and mainly because I was dubious about the mixing of passionfruit with dark chocolate. Conventional dessert thinking had me believing that white chocolate was the only appropriate pairing for this summer fruit. "Oh no" exclaimed Monsiuer Truffe (and I believe by his accent that it was he) "I have used a milk chocolate here and you will see that the taste lingers incredibly in your mouth". I took a bite and swooned. Oh. My. Goodness. It was the sheer essence of passionfruit and such chocolately chocolately heaven. It was, the kind of chocolate that made me want to lie down and beg for more.

Unfortunately, modesty forbade me. That, and the fact that we had just discussed that I could limit myself to one a day and I had just bought a 12 pack. It seemed, well, a little piggy to demand every passionfruit truffle in sight. But I note from the cute packet that he also has a shop at 101 Toorak Road, South Yarra, so maybe I'll pop in there after a respectable amount of time has passed. I cannot see my will to diet lasting long in the face of these incredibly gorgeous morsels. But, while browsing books online, I found one called Breaking the Food Seduction. And I ponder, do I really want to do that??


At 12:05 AM, Blogger Niki said... They sound and look spectacular, and I could just imagine the taste in my mouth as I read your description.
I bought a bar of the Dolfin pink peppercorn chocolate in a tiny little mountaintop town in Austria, which was a memorable (and yet pretty expensive) way to do it. Top stuff.
There's a passionfruit flavoured Kit Kat in Japan, using milk chocolate. Reckon that'd make a good substitute for you? ;-)

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous belial said...

I sure am glad you didn't post this article while I was in Melbourne last week... I may have felt obliged to find Monsieur Truffle even in the heat... and then have to scoff his delights before I wore them... a fragrant but sticky coat: passionfruit, pepper and chocolate...mmmm?

At 7:57 PM, Blogger cin said...

I haven't seen him before - where in market??? I think I would've succumbed and bought both packs...where is my willpower!

At 9:44 PM, Blogger plum said...

Hi Niki - Um, I don't think the Kit Kat would quite cut it but to be fair, that is not because I don't adore Kit Kats, it is simply because of the very high standard of these.

Hi Belial - I will have to take you to meet Monsieur Truffe next time you're in town. And it will look less piggy when I buy a heap of chocolate to "share"!

Hi Cin - he has a small stand alone stall - usually near Chaso's Deli?

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Ed Charles said...

I discovered him yesterday at Prahran market. Bought a $10 pack and was warned to only eat one a day. Of course, I ate eight yesterday and one for breakfast today. Not since, Rococco in London have I tasted truffles like these. I've tried Godiva but they suck. These are the best in Melbourne and I'll be back there avec camera to take a pic and blog him. The very dark Tanzania was my choice but the rosemary is also pretty special. He makes them with Valhrona.

At 12:40 AM, Anonymous agent sunshine said...

His 'store' at 101 Toorak Rd isn't a shop front - it's his industrial kitchen. The Prahran Market is the only place he sells truffles.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger plum said...

He's now set up in the space where the original Organic Fix stall was - middle aisle fruit and veg.

At 4:53 PM, Anonymous agent sunshine said...

Tee hee hee! Off to Prahran Market tomorrow! Finally get to meet and taste the wonders of Monsieur Truffe. Tuesdays are good days. Hopefully I don't get frozen.

My friend is a huge Valrhona *snob* when it comes to chocolate. Now I can pull these little bundles of guilty pleasure out and tempt her :) Thanks for the recommendation.

At 5:20 PM, Blogger blogger777 said...

i have always walked passed Monsieur Truffe. So quickly in fact i thought he was selling coffee beans.. I am a bit of a chocoalte snob.. preferring chocolatier(sp?) chocolates to your boring "supermarket type.
even then i wasnt too much of a chocolate fan.

i stopped at his stall today. and Oh My God.. they are delicious. devine. a taste sensation.. he didnt tell me to only have one a day. wish he had've cause i've had four maybe five..

they are worthy of a special trip to the market. and they are now what i will be buying as a "little something" thank you gift when i go to dinner parties..

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMm Monsieur Truffe mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he now has a store on smith street in collingwood.


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