GOLDEN TOUCH

Are truffles merely an aphro­disiac? Estée Lauder’s new propo­si­tion re­veals there is so much more to the ex­quis­ite French del­i­cacy. By Li Ying Lim.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - THE BEAUTY -

As first day­light breaks through the hori­zon, a man wrapped in full win­ter gear walks the vast plains with a dog in tow and a cavadou (truf­fle hook) in hand. His ev­ery breath, crys­tallised into a cloud clearly vis­i­ble in the ice-cold air, blends thick and fast into the morn­ing fog. The dog roams free, cast­ing its in­quis­i­tive nose against the roots of the trees. His owner fol­lows, as keen and ea­ger to un­cover the earth near the boughs of hazel­nut and oak trees, while the dog nar­rows its search. The truf­fle farmer con­tin­ues to dig deeper with his cavadou un­til he fi­nally reaches the roots, where a dis­tinct aroma starts to grow more pun­gent; where his trea­sure – the black di­a­mond truf­fle – lies.

FRENCH ODYSSEY

Now, th­ese are not just any truffles. “Ex­tra Class” su­pe­rior black di­a­mond truffles must have reached their mat­u­ra­tion pe­riod be­fore mak­ing the cut – the truf­fle farmer knows this with just one glance at the mar­ble-like black and white heart. Pack­aged and sealed to re­tain its nu­tri­ents, the truffles are then trans­ported to Cannes, France, and then after a nine-step ex­trac­tion process, to Estée Lauder’s head­quar­ters in New York. Ev­ery 10 to 15 kilo­grammes of black di­a­mond truffles can give only one kilo­gramme of pure ex­tract. Deca­dent and rare, this re­mark­able in­gre­di­ent used in Estée Lauder’s Re-Nutriv line is only avail­able for cul­ti­va­tion from De­cem­ber to March.

Re­fined 24-karat gold to help the skin glow

On the hunt

for truffles

South­west re­gion of France, home to some of the finest truffles

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