Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Alien Ingredient #1: Dwarf Truffle Peaches

Dwarf truffle peaches. The name was enough to get me to order a jar of these sight unseen. I mean seriously WTF do peaches, truffles, and dwarves have to do with each other?

These come from Italy where they pickle the immature green fruit that they thin to reduce the fruit load on the trees so as to increase the size and flavor of the remaining peaches and/or so as not to overload the branches to the point where they might snap.* After pickling, they are packed in a truffle oil. This jar contains a full kilogram of product and a good liter of nice tasting truffle oil. In fact, the biggest win of this product may be using the truffle oil to flavor dishes long after the peaches are gone. I can already imagine browning spätzle in it or dressing green beans in it.

[*The original text, quoted from manufacturer's web site read: "any unripe tiny green peaches off the trees at the end of the season". There aren't unripe green peaches on trees at the end of the season.]

The peaches are the size of very large olives and are very crisp all the way through. The pit is undeveloped as you can see in the photo, so the whole thing is edible. The pickle cure is a bit vinegary but also a bit sweet. The peaches themselves are very crispy crunchy in a pleasant way. You wouldn't want to eat more than a couple of them (nor most other pickles) but they will make neat garnishes for charcuterie plates and would definitely make quite the upscale martini garnish.

You gotta love the label that looks like it was cooked up on somebody's home computer and printed on his ink jet printer. How sketchy!

Vote: pretty cool product packed in an oil that may be more useful than the product itself. We like these cute little guys.


  1. Happy New Year Ed. Best wishes for a prosperous, healthy and fun new year

    That's one way to use those immature peach thinnings, isn't it? Almost as good as pickled green walnuts??

    But pray , do tell: New international market? what? where?

  2. Thank you and Happy New Year to you!

    I think of them in a similar vein to pickled green walnuts, except much less astringent.

    International market called Food Maxx on Berryville Avenue on the west side of I-81 in the strip mall next to Gold's Gym. 1107 Berryville Ave, Winchester, 22601.

  3. Thank you! Worth a 80 mile trip (return trip)?

  4. Worth it if you are coming up this way for some other reason. Otherwise, go to Super-H in Fairfax.

  5. Fascinating, Chef- I had no idea those immature peaches we thin could be edible. Do they have any hint of the almond aroma that mature peach pits offer?

    Can't wait to see what your Alien Ingredient series features in the future!

  6. Deirdre, I had no clue either that immature peach thinnings had any redeemable culinary qualities. No, they don't have any hint of the almond flavor that you find in the kernel of all the Prunus fruits. They are so immature that there is barely a hint of a pit; they are really hollow where the pit should be. Also, if there were any almond flavor, it would be obscured by the aggressive truffle oil.

    I don't know if you picked up on "unripe tiny green peaches off the trees at the end of the season" which is straight from the producer's web site. But that makes no sense: these have to be from thinnings in the spring. I want to try my hand at pickling some next spring.

    Happy New Year to you and Phil.

  7. Thanks again,Ed.
    I noticed that same sentence too: either a bad translation, or those Italian peaches are a special cultivar with unusual behavior -- which is not impossible...