Are you throwing away your black truffle 'leftovers'?
I guess you don't as they are expensive. You save every little crumb and you make sure nothing goes to waste.
It’s normal to put every bit on the plate or save the small crumbs for purée, soup or to infuse the oil. Black truffles are expensive and you are definitely not going to throw them in a bin.
But what about other vegetables? Are you throwing away vegetable 'leftovers'?
Do you save every little bit of the parsnip? Do you respect it just as much as you do the black truffles?
Probably not, as they are cheaper. Or are they really? A few kilograms of organic vegetables can equal a few grams of black truffle in price. And here is the issue: you are saving the black truffle bits and then you proceed to waste other produce.
Let me ask you, what is the price threshold for the product to be acceptable to waste it?
Would you waste pricey organic local produce, or is it too expensive to waste? Is it okay to waste a piece of carrot, just because you ordered it from some supplier and the price is lower than the black truffle? And by wasting I don’t only mean trimmings and leftovers of the daily mise en place, but also the way we store and handle the products.
Your black truffles are carefully stored and kept in ideal conditions as they carry a hefty price tag, and your carrots are maybe stored in a plastic bag where they get mouldy here and there. Have a 'black truffle mindset' with all the produce that's in your kitchen.
If you make the effort to use every gram of the black truffle, you can make the same effort to use every bit of other vegetables too.
If you can be extra careful with black truffles, you can be extra careful with every vegetable. You are already doing it with some of the produce. You know how to do it. You already have a zero-waste mindset. You just need to apply it more widely.
Try this: Everything in your kitchen is black truffle. Anything you work with carries the cost of a black truffle. Your lettuce is black truffle. Your veggie stock is black truffle stock. Your mash potato is black truffle mash. Do this for at least a week and see yourself getting more creative.
This article is an excerpt from my book Surplus: The food waste guide for chefs.