NY Food Truck Lunch: White Truffle Mac & Cheese From The Mac Truck
Perry, the voice behind New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City food trucks.
The Mac Truck, serving macaroni & cheese with various toppings, debuted in mid-September. Our first visit there wasn’t too long ago, and we weren’t thinking of going back so soon. However, we were drawn back to the truck by their latest endeavor, white truffles.
More: NYC’s Best Mac & Cheese
One of the most overused words in the food lexicon is “gourmet”, but in the case of white truffles, it actually fits.
According to Wikipedia, the highest price paid for a single white truffle was in December 2007, when Macau casino owner Stanley Ho paid $330,000 for a specimen weighing 3.3 lbs. That’s $100,000 per pound, for those of you keeping score at home. A truffle that large is a rarity, one of the reasons for the exorbitant price.
For normal sized white truffles, prices are more in the $6,000 per pound territory. That’s still out of our price range, but the Mac Truck acquired 3 white truffles, and was offering it as a topping for a $10 supplement over the usual $6 cost of a mac & cheese. For that price, we were willing to give it a try. So were many others, judging by the line.
Dom, the owner of the Mac Truck, recommended grated Parmesan and toasted bread crumbs as additional toppings. It’s usually a good rule to listen to recommendations from chefs, especially when trying something new.
For a quick lesson, the white truffle (tuber magnatum) has a unique aroma that allows trained pigs and dogs to find it underground, where the mushroom grows. It’s found mainly in Italy, although France and other countries have some too. White truffles are located and harvested between September and December, so we’re in prime white truffle season.
We got to the Mac Truck around 1:15, and there was a line of about 15 people. There were 4 other food trucks on the block, and no one else had a line of more than 3 people. Dom was already down to his last truffle, so it seems like the experiment was a success.
After putting together a mac & cheese with Parmesan cheese and toasted bread crumbs, Dom cut about 8 thin slices of white truffle, and laid them on top.
This was our first time trying white truffles, and we were surprised by the coloration. From the outside, the truffles looked like potatoes, but once sliced, they were more like slices of steak, with red (rare) towards the center and extensive marbling.
The truffles had a strong, but not overpowering, woodsy smell. As for taste, the slices were thin and somewhat papery, with a delicate umami flavor. A little bit went a long way, and the bites with truffle worked well with the somewhat pungent cheese sauce.
Was it worth the money? That’s something everyone has to decide for themselves. We found it to be an interesting experience, but probably not something to do regularly. At $6,000 a pound, we don’t expect that to be a problem.
The Mac Truck moves around between various neighborhoods in midtown and downtown, so find them on Twitter here or on our Mobile Munchies Twitter feed. That’s the best way to keep up on their specials, such as white truffles.
Our final thought: We love the incongruity of ordering white truffles from a food truck that looks like an eighteen-wheeler. It makes us :)