Black truffles used in Beijing restaurants are mainly from Yunnan. Provided to China Daily
Twenty years later, he came to Beijing and started using black truffles in Colorful Yunnan. By then, Yunnan was marketing the fungus extensively. The price has risen from 60 yuan a kg to its current price of 800 yuan per kg now.
Huang's restaurant uses a lot of Yunnan black truffles, in season from the end of October to end of January. The chef has been ordering 20 kg a day, but often, he would only receive 10 kg on some days. Several days ago, he placed an order of 1.5 tons of black truffle, to flash freeze and use in the two Colorful Yunnan restaurants in Beijing when the truffles are out of season.
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The truffles will be delivered in refrigerator trucks and then placed in special cold storage, according to the chef.
At Colorful Yunnan, there is a black truffle menu with 13 truffle specialty dishes, such as fish maw with abalone sauce, pan-fried yellow croaker, and steamed prawns.
In one dish, black fungus is placed between chicken skin and meat, steamed and then pan-fried.
The most expensive is a grilled truffle, which uses 300 grams of black fungus, and costs 1,480 yuan. The cheapest is Champagne foie gras jelly with minced truffles, three slices of which cost 58 yuan.
Huang says the restaurant uses eight other main mushrooms including boletus, porcini, chanterelle and Matsutake mushroom.
Black truffles cost about the same as the Matsutake mushroom, but are less expensive than the ganba fungus, a rare mushroom only found in Yunnan and nowhere else in the worlds and the morel mushrooms.
But truffles are good business.
In 2009, the restaurant started an annual black truffle festival during the months it is in season.
The first year alone, Colorful Yunnan's two restaurants made six million yuan from the fungus, according to the chef.
Huang says black truffle from Yunnan is good, but the flavor is not as strong as those from Italy and France. But the shape, the look, and the marbling are the same.
"While Western chefs mostly use it for flavoring, we use it both as a side dish, and as main ingredient. So using the Yunnan truffle, which is more reasonably priced, is the obvious option," the chef says.
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