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Black vs. White - Truffle Oil

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  • jh253 Nov 28, 2007 03:30 PM
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I want to buy my father truffle oil for Christmas because he has been dying to use it in a recipe. Which kind is better/more universal?

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  1. Trader Joe's sells both at $8 each. I've found that more recipe call for white truffle oil as it pairs so nicely with fish, mushrooms, and pasta/risotto. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of truffle oil; I guess my tastebuds aren't fancy enough or something but it makes me feel nauseated sometimes and has a weird sting on my tongue.

    2 Replies
    1. re: digkv

      I haven't seen it in 4 of the TJ's in my local area (San Francisco)...have you seen truffle oil recently in yours?
      I asked about this today..the fellow who worked there said he hasn't seen them for quite a while..that perhaps it is a discontinued product?!
      Perhaps it's seasonal?

      1. re: ChowFun_derek

        You know, I haven't looked recently but I certainly will next time. It was only a couple of months ago that I bought my truffle oil and truthfully, I wasn't too eager to go and get another bottle.

    2. I'm not certain, but I think I read that lot of white truffle oil on the market is actually synthetic. Something to check out before you buy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: woden

        The white truffle oil I got at Lucca's (22nd & Valencia in the City) is made with olive oil and "truffle aroma" whatever that is.
        Truffle oil has a very short shelf life and that may account for the weird sting on digkv's tounge.
        I like truffle oil. I put some in the mashed potatoes I made last Thursday and a few drops in the scrambled eggs I had for breakfast on Sunday

        1. re: JockY

          "Truffle aroma". That's what I've heard, and read, and I am very suspicious of that, to say the least. "Truffle Aroma"? You've got to be kidding me.

      2. I think white truffle oil has a beeter flavor, and actually tastes of truffle. The black is interesting, but really dosen't taste of real truffle. Of course they are all generally synthetic flavorings in olive oil. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as the flavor of real truffles is so delicate it would doubtfully work well in an oil, you would probably be dissapinted in a real truffle oil if you could find one.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hoosierland

          thank you!! i'll look into the white, but read labels to be sure

        2. You might find these two old threads helpful
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/289971
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/337531

          Basically, there's truffle oil and then there's Truffle Oil
          I like the TJs stuff, but it is a pale artificially flavored ghost compared to the real thing

          1. Another vote for white truffle oil vs. black. I've tried both from TJs and the white works well as an add-on, not the main focus...and if pretend it's just the flavor. The black oil has the aroma of gym socks.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ML8000

              Most if not all truffle oil you can get in the Bay Area has artificial truffle flavor (both white and black)....never found the "true" stuff...although local Costco has fresh white truffles at $209/ouce...ouch!

              1. re: Pollo

                http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product....

                Rather $275/oz ( min 2 oz )

                1. re: RicRios

                  That's internet pricing hence bit more...they also had black truffles at $29/oz.....

            2. White is the best. Just make sure you either get the Italian or French one.....

              1 Reply
              1. re: chefschickie

                I bought one of each from Oliviers & Co., but haven't tried either yet—has anyone tried theirs?

              2. most truffle oils are for finishing. the black truffle oil is a little less refined than the white . but like i've read in a few of these articles watch out for the "aroma" style . i've found that the organic style oils are more flavorful. but I'de stick to white it has a more smooth flavor , more delicate.

                1. I have bought 3 bottles of truffle oil and been disappointed with every bottle. It just tastes like oil to me with little truffle flavor. I would gladly be overwhelmed by a fake chemical truffle flavor that I could actually detect. Just because it is not exactly like real truffles is not a good reason to reject it as a pleasant taste in its own right. On the other hand, is it pleasant? What brands are potent?

                  1. I got decent oils in the past (especially "white") with intense truffly aromas.

                    Chef Daniel Patterson popularized the issue of synthetic truffle oil, New York Times 16 May 2007 (widely syndicated elsewhere, and online). I've mentioned it on past truffle topics here. I urge reading this article if you're interested. Among its striking details are euphemisms by manufacturers quoted: Flavoring "similar to truffle" (Sabatino); "something from the truffle that is not the truffle" (Urbani). I suppose that adding a real truffle every few thousand liters would allow an honest (yet economical) claim of fresh truffle flavoring too. The small excerpt below captures Patterson's article:

                    "Most commercial truffle oils are concocted by mixing olive oil with one or more compounds like 2,4-dithiapentane ... their one-dimensional flavor is also changing common understanding of how a truffle should taste. ... [some chefs] are surprised to hear that truffle oil does not actually come from real truffles."

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: eatzalot

                      Queen Creek Olive Mill sells a really nice White Truffle Olive Oil. If you live nearby, or are in the area, be sure to stop in for lunch and take a tour of the farm. http://queencreekolivemill.com/

                    2. i love it in a green salad

                      1. any truly impressive side dishes that are made with said truffle oil?

                        1. I buy mine at whole foods for, I think, $13-15 depending on white or black.