Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Hunter and the Hunted @ Papa Lima

Ahhh truffles. Add a little, and it costs a lot, yet people pay for it willingly. At least I was. This little guy set me back $13.00.

I went to Papa Lima in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to try one of their gourmet sandwiches. The name of this one my eye. The Hunter and the Hunted is a panino with salted french ham similar to prosciutto (jambon de bayonne), melted swiss, and black truffle butter on a pressed 6" roll. The hunter references the pigs that are used to sniff out truffles (the hunted). Pigs have an innately keen sense of smell and have been used traditionally to find truffles, but are prone to eating them. What did you expect - they're pigs. Specifically female hogs are used due to a compound within the truffle similar to androstenol, the sex pheromone of boar saliva, to which the sow is keenly attracted. Today dogs are trained to find truffles these days since they don't eat the truffles.

I have to admit that I got this sandwich before, but the newish deli clerk cut the salted ham against the grain making it impossible to bite through. The second time I ordered it everything came out perfect. The nuttiness of the truffle butter perfectly accents the buttery saltiness of the ham. Add the gooey deliciousness of melted swiss and crunch of the toasted fresh local made bread and you've got a satisfied customer. And for an added bonus the place gives away free loaves of their day old bread.

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