Truffle Oil and Natural Truffle Flavor
I just tried a truffle oil - or rather truffle aromatic condiment with EVOO and natural truffle flavor. Product of Italy. The brand is TrentinAceti s.a.s. of TAIO (TN), whose product line is usually good. This stuff is a disappointment.
A quality olive oil for sure, but you only get That Truffle Oooomph as a delayed aftertaste. I have not drizzled it on anything warm yet -- just opened the bottle to sample.
My only other experience of truffle oil is fresh out of the Italian artisan's hands - THAT had a fabulous knockout truffle aroma and essence.
So, I'm wondering...am I going to find good stuff in the USA? Do I have to make it myself?
As soon as Trader Joe's gets it in stock, I'll have a taste. With low expectations. : )
I was impressed by white truffle oil from Trader Joe's (last year's was the first I tried) and Urbani (for many years). Others I've tasted, not so much.
Several specialty shops around LA carry truffle oil with a piece of truffle in the bottle. Any "truffle" oil without it is a poor cousin to the real thing and will only give you that aftertaste of truffle. White truffle is stronger than black truffle. Or is it the other way around :-)
I have no idea which "Italian artisan's hands" you're referring to. As far as commercial producers of truffle oil in Italy is concerned, I interviewed about 20 of them in the last Cibus fair in Parma, for a food imports project I'm working on. They all acknowledged the use of artificial flavors, in the best of cases just a minimal use of natural truffle (1% max), be it blacks or whites. The "piece of truffle in the bottle" a poster refers to below is just for the looks, the flavor being again induced by substantial use of flavoring agents. In the world of truffles, I'm sorry to say, the only real thing is the real fresh truffle... as long as you're not getting the wrong species from the wrong places.
I worked for Trentinaceti in Italy. The truffle flavor they use is artificial. They do not use natural truffle flavor (too expensive).
It is so simple to prepare aromatic condiments at home (and so cheap also). Just buy some good quality EVOO, not too strong or spicy, then add what you want. rosemary, basil, thym, origan, etc. and you will have the best condiment in the world without spending lots of money for nothing. And most important, you will know what you are eating.
Traditional Italian food is always home made when possible, so everything you can do or grow at home, do it.
You can also buy concentrated natural flavors from professional organic providers, then add it to your oil or vinegar...
This thread just came up again, and seeing your entry made
me want to tell you that adding flavors to EVOO at home is not quite the good thing you promote. Adding to olive oil at home is very risky as the water content will then threatened the mixture with bacteria growth. Flavor mixtures need the protection of being a commercially prepared product.