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everybody likes truffles, right?

I love food. I have lived in NYC for 25 years. Had all kinds of food. But, what the heck does a truffle taste like? Wikipedia says it taste like a mushroom......that's it?
There has to be more to it, yes?

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  1. Nope - tastes nothing like a mushroom. The smell is pungent, so don't go by that - the best way to describe the taste is earthy.

    It's a taste like no other. If you are trying for the first time, I would splurge on somewhere where you will actually get shaved truffle on your dish - as opposed to truffle oil, which might not give you an accurate rendition of actual truffle flavour.

    1. Truffle season will soon be upon us - for the best answer, I'd suggest going to Dean & Deluca or a similar place and ask to smell one. That will give you a good indication of the taste - it's hard to describe - but luscious. This might interest you as well:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/441290

      1. On the occasion of my first truffle I was told (by an Italian geology professor) that not everyone has the genetics to appreciate truffles, kind of like the ability to smell asparagus pee. To many people it tastes divine, but to others of us it tastes like armpit. I've gained a sort of appreciation for the effect of truffle oil (especially on popcorn) but straight truffles taste to me either like dirt or like nothing at all.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Freida

          I'm afraid I have the plebeian gene. Truffles taste like recently disinfected dirt (had something much more descriptive, but we'll leave it at that). Dang genes. I could be trusted as a truffle hunter though!

        2. Oh, I love truffles, BUT... aside from being a fungus, it really doesn't resemble mushroom at all. "Earthy" is accurate, but perhaps somewhat euphemistic. For your maiden voyage, truffle shaved over pasta would probably be the best experience, or any similarly simple dish that allows the aromas and flavour to come through. It's true that not everyone likes them. A friend of mine, with a pretty sophisticated palate, cannot eat anything with a truffle flavour. I'm embarrassed to say what she compares it to. My advice: Do it. Whether you find it good or bad, it will be a singular experience.

          1. Truffle fries with truffle ketchup is a real treat if you end up being one of its fans.

            1 Reply
            1. re: brekkie_fan

              I love all things food and pretty much have nothing on my "won't eat" list. But, I've had several truffle dishes and I apparently don't have the genetics to appreciate truffles. My faces scrunches and I get a look of horror when tasting the stuff. Thank goodness, because if I loved it, I'd be one of those people spending way too much money on truffles!

            2. Don't love 'em, don't hate 'em. I've enjoyed truffle fries, probably with just truffle oil, and a couple of pasta dishes where the truffles were used sparingly. To me truffles smell sort of like feet.

              1. I've never had one but I've definitely wanted to try one for awhile. Does truffle butter or truffle oil suffice for capturing the flavor of one?

                1. The only truffle anything that I've had was truffle mac n cheese, it was delicious but I could see how it may get a little overwhelming. I read this from someone on the internet when I was wondering what the taste was like, I'm so sick of hearing "earthy". He said that it tasted like garlic with a hint of gas, not gasoline but natural gas (but in a good way) And that is exactly what I tasted as well. Garlic with a hint of gas, doesn't sound great but for some reason it is?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: yummyyumone

                    That sounds about right, but it doesn't taste good at all to me. And I end up burping that flavour for hours after eating. Count me as a non-lover of truffles.

                  2. nothing like a mushroom.. it is more like Worcestershire sauce drunk out of a balloon with guinness beer..
                    I love truffles

                    1. Buy some truffle salt (pretty cheap) - smell it and sprinkle it on a baked potato or on just about anything else.

                      1. Ummm...no, not everybody. I kept ordering dishes that contained them, and thinking they must be just badly-prepared, or they'd used mediocre truffles, but I finally had to conclude: I really don't like the flavor of truffles. At ALL.

                        Maybe it's genetic, maybe it's my white trash roots, but at least it saves me money--that was a lot to pay for food I didn't enjoy!

                        1. I haven't had a European truffle, but I ordered a couple from a place in Oregon a couple of years ago, which by all accounts are inferior to the European. I was completely bewitched by them. The smell, the taste, the endorphins, don't take this the wrong way (and I've heard this before), but it reminded me of sex, somehow, in the best possible way. I guess I have the truffle gene.