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Feb 16, 2008 12:55 PM

So.. truffle oil in Paris...?

I know here in the states the truffle oil you normally find is genetically engineered and added to olive oil.

I know this might sound naive but we were unaware that the white truffle oil we were enjoying was not "real" until about a year ago.

Am I also being naive in thinking that our trip to Paris this spring will yield truffle oil impregnated with real white truffles?

I know that Olivier & Co sells a truflfle oil in the 7. Is this my best bet? And is it made with real truffles? And if I am not in total fantasy land what other truffle products should I look for outside of truffles themselves made of real truffles of course that I can bring back home?

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  1. In France, if a truffle oil is not made of real truffle bits infused in oil, it will be mentioned "à l'arôme de truffe". I would buy my truffle oil from BE, Ducasse's grocery/bakery (bd de Courcelles and in the Printemps department store). Or in my favourite Italian grocery, Via Della Pasta (rue Lebon, 17th, rue des Belles Feuilles (16th), and also in Neuilly). But many fancy groceries will do -- La Grande Epicerie au Bon Marché (6th), Lafayette Gourmet (9th), Fauchon or Hediard, etc.

    There's not many truffle-based conserves that I would recommend except good truffle oil (and even that does not keep that well, esp white truffle). I like white truffle butter for my pasta.

    1 Reply
    1. re: souphie

      I just would like to add my own provider: Terres de Truffes, rue Vignon in the 8th. They happen to have a website where it seems you can order online:
      Also apart from the real/synthetic truffle aroma issue, you also have the choice between white or black truffle (tuber melanosporum).

    2. Oils with additives, such as garlic, truffles, etc. are not safe. When I ran a restaurant in Denver, the Health Department told me this, and would mark down restaurants that served such oils.

      Enjoy oil. Enjoy truffles. Don't mix.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sancarlo

        I think I am going to take my chances if we followed this rule we wouldnt be able to eat the cheese which would negate the whole reason to go.

        1. re: sancarlo

          Commercially produced flavoured oils are formulated with the correct acid and/or water balance to inhibit the growth of bacteria and therefore they are safe. Home made oils (or those made in restaurant kitchens) should be used on the day of preparation or refrigerated and used within a week and then they will be safe.

        2. Try truffle salt. Apparently, the aromas from truffles cannot leach into oil of any kind, so truffle oil is always an artificially flavored product (sorry Souphie).

          Truffle salt, however, is actually salt mixed with a small amount of crushed truffles.

          1. i do it myself with a little productor near my home : and this is better and less expensive than the oil you can buy in paris

            1. There is no such thing as truffle oil impregnated with real white (or black) truffles. It can only be made with synthetic aromas and should not be used to replace truffles, but to boost up the flavor of dishes containing truffles.

              See this thread for more information:

              9 Replies
              1. re: Ptipois

                Even the best truffle oil pretty much sucks.

                  1. re: jock

                    Actually there is one that is great, pricey. Manni same folks as awesome evoo, sold at $ 40/100 ml for the regular oil, let alone their white truffle steeped evoo.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      There cannot be such a thing as white (or black) truffle-steeped oil, whatever components transferred from the truffles into the oil would rot even before you'd have time to sell the stuff.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        Added truffles to oil, then filtered truffles out. That is what their salesmen said.Truth, who knows

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          No way. Unless there's at least as much chemical preservatives than oil in the bottle.

                  2. re: Ptipois

                    Jeez, I cannot believe this is a serious discussion.
                    Let's go back to real food folks (not you Pti, you're always there).

                    1. re: John Talbott

                      @ Deluccacheesemonger,

                      We've had Manni's olive oil a number of times when visiting Montalcino, not that far from where we live. IMO, Manni's is nothing more than an average Tuscan olive oil and far inferior to many other Tuscan oils. What distinguishes Manni is the hype. The cascina goes all out to tell people how good it is, how special it is, and how it is so much better than any other Tuscan oil. Great marketing marks that company and people, particularly Americans, fall for it.

                      We've never had Manni's "truffle oil." Truffle oil is something that is a chemical concoction or else it is some oil with a rotting truffle inside. The fact that Manni produces it, says something about the company.

                      Good white truffles from Piemonte are sui generis. Use them properly (for example, don't cook them), use them at the right time of year and there is no need for any "enhancement" of a truffle dish with truffle oil.