Well, I've just watched last week's episode of Iron Chef America, "Battle Truffle," and at one point Alton Brown declared to sideline reporter Kevin Brauch that, "white truffles are better than 97 percent of the sex you'll have in your life."
As I think about that, it dawns on me that I've never tasted truffles in my life. That is, it's barely possible that I've had something that had truffles in it... but more likely not, and in any case, I've never tasted them in a situation where I knew what I was tasting. Aside from knowing that they're somehow related, taxonomically, to mushrooms, I have not the first clue what truffles might taste like.
The same is true, it's slowly dawning on me, about more than a few of the ingredients that crop up on the food TV shows I watch: High end ingredients like sea urchin roe (uni), foie gras, and wagyu beef are mysteries to me, but so are more pedestrian things that turn up in the Chopped baskets, like celeriac (celery root), parsnips, and tomatillos.
When I first started watching Chopped, I used to pause the DVR just as each basket was revealed, and try to imagine what I would make with those ingredients... but I had to stop doing that, because far too often there would be at least one ingredient in the basket whose taste I had no clue about.
I'm'a hafta' fix that. For the stuff I can just pick up at the megamart, it should be easy to break my ingredient cherry, but it's going to take a bit of figuring to get my truffle on without breaking the bank. I'll let y'all know how it goes....