Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Day with the Dealer: Truffles

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[MUSIC]

>> Hey what's up?

How much white do you need?

So how many grams do you think you'll need?

Yeah that's still it's,

it's still 2500 a pound so,

I think I've got like a 80 gram piece for you.

All right, cool.

I'll see you soon.

>> I don't want the boss seeing me

buying this much stuff on one trip.

>> I know, she's sitting right there.

>> I know right.

She'll be like, what the fuck are you doing?

>> They smell really good.

Try a piece.

>> How much are these again?

>> Two-fifty.

[SOUND] So my name is Ian Purkayastha and

I own Regalis Foods.

So Regalis is a specialty foods company that

primarily sells fresh truffles, wild mushrooms,

foraged edibles, caviar, Japanese wagyu beef.

I think the list is like always expanding.

Here's some pawpaw fruit that I forged for, which

they look kind of like an over ripped green mango,

but they have a custardy interior, like the flavor

profile's kind of like a cross between a mango and

a banana.

Here's some my truffle products that I, we make.

Here's honey comb,

it's like a honey with black Tennessee truffle.

I also have it in this square form.

This Autovacuna extra virgin white truffle oil.

We've got truffle carpaccio over here.

Truffles are an underground fungus that

have a mycorrhizal relationship with

the host tree that it's growing on.

They grow on the tree roots of different trees.

No one has really successfully been able to

cultivate truffles on a commercial scale.

And so, truffles are extremely rare,

and they're extremely expensive.

And due to their perishability, I mean,

you know, a truffle may last seven days and

then, you know, it rots.

So this piece right here is

probably like 700, 800 bucks.

This little nugget.

You can smell it, it's pretty aromatic.

My family relocated from Houston to

Arkansas when I was 15.

I spent a lot of times outdoors.

My uncle was actually living in Arkansas at

the time, and showed me how to forage for

wild mushrooms.

So that kind of became, you know,

a passion for me.

And so I would forage for lots of morels, and

chanterelles, and

black trumpets, in the hills of, of Arkansas.

It's said to cure cancer but, anyway I dried it

out and you can make teas and stuff out of it, but-

>> Where did you find it?

>> In Westchester just growing out of a log.

But this stuff sells for a lot of money in

like medicinal shops and stuff.

I decided why not move to New York in pursuit of

you know, selling truffles full time.

>> Hey, what's up?

>> What is. >> What's up?

>> [INAUDIBLE] >> Yeah, I know, right?

>> Whatta got?

Whatta got?

>> Yeah, competition is extremely ruthless.

It's extremely competitive.

I would say there's only, probably around

three main truffle companies in New York.

With Regalis, my company being one of the three.

>> Why doesn't your truck say Regalis?

>> So my competitors don't slash my tires.

>> [LAUGH]

>> I don't put my logo on the van because I don't

want my competitors, first of all,

saying who we're selling to.

And then second of all, I mean during truffle

season I get lots of different threats and

like there's lot of like you know,

illicit activity that like, takes place.

And front, oh look,

here's a competitor right here.

Oh my God.

Mother fuckers.

Those are like, oh my God,

I hate those people so much.

They I can't believe I just saw them.

they, talk about smugglers.

These are the people that smuggle truffles back and

forth from Italy,

and completely fuck things up.

Because they avoid going through USDA, through,

you know, agriculture, through FDA.

And they just bring them in, in their suitcase and

go to basically different restaurant accounts.

And when they realize they,

they can't sell the truffles,

they basically slash the prices and sell them,

like, at below costs.

And it ends up screwing up the entire market.

Oh my God it was just like, so retarded.

How are you?

Especially since they are paying so much money for

truffles they want to pick out, you know,

the truffles that they're gonna be buying.

Which makes my life super difficult because I

have to go to each and every restaurant and

bring a ton of selection for them to look at.

And they each go through each truffle and,

you know, smell each truffle and

squeeze each truffle.

And then we weigh them up and,

and then we do the deal.

All right, that's 1500 grams.

>> Okay, mm-hm.

>> So when I first started Regalis,

I mean truffles were, of course, the main focus.

We now import from more than

seven different countries.

Yeah, like every morning I'm either at Newark, or

I'm at LaGuardia, or JFK.

It's pretty much, I'd say 90% of the time I'm

at Newark picking up stuff.

So we are here at the cargo area.

Hello.

How are you?

So, I've got a pick up.

Yeah.

Yeah, now we're going to my warehouse to sort some

of the mushrooms and pick up the delivery van,

and start our day on the deliveries.

Let's carry these in.

Heavy.

Oh, yeah.

Okay.

Some awesome cauliflower mushrooms.

Super nice.

They look like a brain.

Super lemony.

This is an awesome mushroom,

this is a coral mushroom.

Holy shit, this is a huge piece.

It looks like coral it

has like little hairs all over it.

So I am always bringing stuff in to cater to what

my shops are asking for.

This are just some beautiful Mushiltake.

These are the Japanese, the ceremonial ones.

They kind of look like a penis.

Because in Japan it's considered like,

the mushroom of like, fertility.

Here's some really nice porcini.

They, they cut 'em in half to check for worms.

But porcini tastes great like, even raw.

All right.

We're almost loaded up here.

For Regalis.

>> Hey, how are ya?

>> Hey, good. I'm trying to

locate a package.

Hopefully it registered in your system yesterday.

>> Yeah.

>> It's coming to 130 Leroy. It's a, a hold for

pick up package from, I believe Portland, Oregon.

[NOISE] He asked what was in the box today, and

I told him like fish placenta sacs and

like, it was pretty funny.

I had gotten in a shipment of

coho trout roe from the Spokane Indian Tribe in

Washington State.

And they've been sending it to me, and it's

like the roe is still in the placenta sac, and so

different restaurants can cure it.

Last week they sent me something special and

it was milt.

Which is basically like salmon sperm sacs.

I gave some to Morimoto.

So this is Erik.

He's one of my most beloved customers.

Erik Battes, he used to be the chef at

Jean George, and he opened Perry Street, and

he was the corporate chef for BLT for a long time.

And he's, the brand new chef at Morimoto, and

I feel like the,

the cuisine is like, awesome now.

Are people buying this from you?

Like the- >> Yeah,

Mo, Momofuku bought it.

>> The Sperm?

>> The Sperm, too.

>> Really? >> Yeah, and Oscar.

So. >> That's awesome.

It's actually surprisingly delicious.

>> Yeah, I know.

It's like a sweetbread.

>> I probably fed it to six people in

this restaurant that had no idea what it was.

>> And then you told them and

then they threw up afterward?

>> No, no.

I mean, so, it's like

obviously like a, a shock.

Like a shocking emotional experience to realize it

is a sperm, unknowingly.

>> So yeah, he seared up this piece of like,

salmon sperm made like a brown butter thyme.

He mixed in like a soy mirin sauce that he,

that he had made, that he like emulsified and

then he poured it over the sperm sac over rice.

He sprinkled it

with like the Japanese cilantro called mitsuba.

So like little mitsuba greens on it.

Damn, looks amazing.

>> Japanese Sperm Meuniere.

>> Spoon, sperm what?

>> Meuniere.

>> Sperm mounier, all right.

Well let's taste it.

>> All right.

>> Holy shit.

Wow.

It's like super creamy.

>> Yeah. [LAUGH].

>> Wow.

So here's the wagyu, and then mastaki.

And the white truffle.

Boom.

Cool.

>> All right, I'll take it.

>> All right, cool.

So, how's the day going so far?

>> It's going pretty well.

I hope I hope you're not hungry anymore cuz

that was our lunch.

[LAUGH] yeah,

we've got quite a few more deliveries, though.

This is Ian.

>> Ian, hi.

This is Josh Thomsen,

Executive Chef of the Agricola in Princeton.

>> Oh, yeah.

With with, with Christof.

>> Exactly, what's going on?

>> How are you?

>> I'm good, I'm good, you know.

>> Yeah. >> A lot has changed,

you were like 19 last year,

now you're like 20 this year.

>> Exact, well I just turned 21.

But yeah.

>> You're older and wiser now.

>> Exactly.

I don't think age was really, you know,

a big factor.

I mean, I knew the product really well and

I was super competitive with pricing.

And my customer service was always like,

really nice.

I mean, when chefs were in a bind,

they would call me last minute and

I would always deliver product.

Hi chef!

>> How are you?

>> Good. I've got,

I got the porcini.

I, I have some nice cauliflower.

Yeah, and coral mushroom,

if you want to see, in the van.

Yeah, so here's the black trumpet.

>> Very nice.

>> Very nice.

Here's the coral mushroom, which it,

it's like cauliflower.

I over pack my delivery van with tons of product,

in hopes that when I'm selling to a restaurant

that's already ordered something,

they'll come out to the van and they'll look

through all of my stuff and impulse buy something

that looks really amazing in the truck.

And nine times out of ten that's always the case.

When a restaurant hasn't ordered or anything, and

I have tons of products I have to move,

I'll basically just drive around to all of

our accounts and say, you know, come out to

the van I've got some like really cool stuff.

And that's how I,

you know, sell out of everything I have.

>> So is this a typical day for you or is it.

[CROSSTALK]. >> This is pretty,

this is pretty typical.

Like going to different restaurants,

unloading product,

seeing if they need anything else for

the remainder of the week.

I mean it's, it's late season so

a lot of the stuff is getting really large so

we sorted these.

My girlfriend doesn't even like mushrooms.

And which, you know, is is ironic cuz I've

always got mushrooms in the fridge.

I mean she, she's grown to like truffles.

When I first met her, she was, you know,

kind of obsessed eating like, fast food, and

like McDonald's and stuff.

So, [LAUGH] I

think we've come a long ways since then.

People that are interested in food or

learning more about food, I think it's super

interesting to to truly understand you know,

where that one mushroom on your

plate is actually coming from.

And not just the labor but

how it gets from forest to plate I

think is an interesting experience that I

wish more people could, could learn about.

This is a good phone call.

Not a bad phone call.

[LAUGH] Hello.

Hey, how's it going?

Yeah. How much did you need?

You said the white right?

It's 3,000 a pound for the white.

It works out to around $7 a gram.

[MUSIC]

The Description of Day with the Dealer: Truffles