Last summer I fell in love. I spent a few days in Cortona and fell in love with truffles. Truffle oil…truffles on pizza, truffles on pasta…truffle-infused honey with pecorino…I left with a jar of truffles and a shiny new truffle slicer. For a month of Sundays I had truffle omelets. The jar of truffles is now long gone…but I do have truffle salt and white truffle oil to keep me satisfied in between frivolous moments of spending my hard earned cash on a small ugly fungus. Sometimes I just need to have a quick smell. Yes, somehow the scent of truffles has a touch of old gym bag and rotting earth, but somehow this mixes together to form my idea of the scent of paradise.
While in Cortona I also renewed my love of tomatoes. I was reminded that a good in-season tomato smells fabulous before you even slice it, a far cry from the supermarket variety with gritty texture and watery flavour. The first place I hit on a Saturday morning these days is my farmer’s market at the bottom of Parliament Hill and this time of year the first purchase is at the tomato stall. I have made an unsuccessful attempt to grow my own, while the plants grow, the reality is my terrace is just too shaded….so nice tall plants…but no fruit. Oh well, they still ‘smell’ of tomato.