What Is Truffade?

Angie Bates

Truffade is a French potato and cheese dish. Considered a specialty in Auvergne, France, this dish is often served as a side in many restaurants and may be found as a snack food at local markets. Simple to make, the only required ingredients in truffade are potatoes and a mild cheese.

Garlic is a common seasoning that's added to truffade.
Garlic is a common seasoning that's added to truffade.

Goose or duck fat is traditionally used to sauté the dish, though butter is often used instead. Onions and garlic are generally included in truffade as well, and bacon may also be added. As with many dishes, salt and pepper are added as needed. Other spices may be occasionally included.

Bacon is often used in truffade.
Bacon is often used in truffade.

The cheese used in truffade is always mild. Cheddar or Gruyère, a type of yellow Swiss cheese, is the usual addition, though Cantal is suggested too. Tomme cheese, however, is the Auvergne region's preferred choice.

The potatoes are usually peeled, sliced, and then parboiled. Parboiling is a technique which partially cooks the food before it is added to a dish to cook fully. The onions are chopped and fried in the butter or fat. Usually garlic and any other seasoning are also added at this time.

Bacon may included in the dish as well. When bacon is used, it is generally chopped and fried in oil. Some recipes, however, suggest using the bacon grease as a substitute for the goose fat.

Once the onions, garlic, and bacon, if it is used, are fried, the potatoes are added. If the potatoes have not been parboiled, the dish is then covered while the potatoes cook. The cheese is only included after the potatoes have been browned. Otherwise, the cheese, and sometimes butter, is added directly after the potatoes have been stirred in. The dish is continually stirred while the cheese melts.

Although cheese is almost always the last ingredient, some recipes will add the garlic after the potatoes have cooked, and salt and pepper are usually added just before the cheese as well. Once the cheese has melted, the truffade is covered and cooked until the potatoes are browned. If the potatoes have been browned prior to the cheese addition, the truffade only cooks long enough to melt the cheese. Then, the whole thing can be flipped onto a plate. Truffades are often served as a side to steak, but may accompany almost any dish.

There are few noticeable variations to truffades. Usually, the difference in recipes are slight, such as frying in goose fat versus butter. In the Dauphine region, however, tomatoes are included instead of the cheese.

Raw potatoes.
Raw potatoes.

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