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Truffle oil White or Black and what do you do with it?

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I have heard of truffle oil which is usually but not always extra virgin olive oil infused with the flavor of truffles. They can use white or black truffles. I believe white truffle oil is most common.

Do you prefer white of black truffle oil? Which brand is the best? What do you do with truffle oil?

I confess, I have never tried it but I am curious.

  1. Careful what you buy, this stuff is simply oil with chemical additives that make it taste and smell sort of like truffles. I very strongly suggest reading this before you buy anything: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/din...

    Aside from that truffle oil is used as a finishing oil, drizzled over items after they are cooked, or added in things like salad dressings.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Fuller

      Not always true. Oregon White Truffle Oil doesn't contain any chemical additives, and is reportedly VERY good. This thread reminds me to order some: http://www.oregontruffleoil.com

      I haven't tried the Oregon stuff yet, but I purchased some incredible truffle oil in Paris last year, at one of the gourmet shops on Rue Vignon. It was REALLY good.

      To the original poster: I recommend sticking with white oil. The aroma of the black oil has always been a disappointment to me. Also, I might advise steering clear of most of the brands you find in big grocery chains.

      As for what to do with the oil: drizzle it (very lightly! there's a reason the bottles are so small) over food just before serving. Don't cook it, as the aromatic compounds will break down under heat. Truffle aroma has a special affinity for cream, eggs, butter, starchy dishes and many vegetables. It's delicious on an omelette, or on buttered pasta. It also spiffs up simple mac 'n' cheese really well. I also enjoy drizzling it over creamed spinach. And many, many people report that roasted cauliflower with truffle oil is an experience. (Haven't tried it yet, but I plan to soon.)

      1. re: modena

        Thanks for the link to Oregon Truffle oil. I do drizzle it on mushroom soup. Do you keep it in the refrigerator? I do because I use it so rarely but have never known if that is what I should be doing.

        1. re: modena

          Has anyone tried this product before?

          1. re: AndrewK512

            5 ounces for 30 bucks. I suspect that there's nothing resembling true truffle aroma in that bottle.

            1. re: tommy

              I have faith considering how cheap oregon truffles are in comparison to the european ones. However, after trying black oregon truffles and being somewhat disappointed, I'm hoping someone is able to report on their experience with the white ones.

              1. re: AndrewK512

                I have, indeed, used that very brand of truffle oil, given to me as a gift from a friend who bought it in Oregon. It is a mild oil, and does have that heady, musty truffle aroma, but I found it was more aroma than taste. I used it on soups, risottos, and popcorn. Unfortunately I did not keep it in the fridge (it's not mentioned on the label to regfridgerate it - at least, not that I can recall) and it quickly lost its potency. I liked it though.

          2. re: modena

            To quote the NYT article:

            "Stories of sightings of natural truffle oil abound, like a gourmand’s answer to the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. One chef told me in an excited, slightly conspiratorial tone that Jing Tio of Le Sanctuaire in Santa Monica, Calif., who sells high-quality specialty ingredients to chefs, mixed his own oil to order.

            This seemed unlikely. When I asked Mr. Tio, he gave me a funny look. “Natural?” he said, rolling his eyes. “Nooo ...”

            For more information, please read the article.

            1. re: modena

              "there's a reason the bottles are so small"

              Actually the reason they are so small is because if they came in a half gallon bottle size no one would buy it because of the cost. Of course a small bottle set at a high price gives the illusion that it is high quality, prime time stuff too. You can't forget to think like a marketing professional. Just because it's a food item doesn't mean a lot of thought didn't go into the presentation and marketing.

              I personally don't think the price of any size bottle of 2, 4-dithiapentane (silly me) I mean truffle oil is worth the cost.

            2. re: Fuller

              very interesting; I happened to be in my local gourmet store yesterday and looked at a couple of bottles-- expensive as they were, the ingredients were olive oil and "truffle aroma". After reading the article, I now know what "truffle aroma" is. I passed on buying them (as much because of the price as the "aroma")

            3. There's a place in Birmingham that serves pistachio white truffle milkshakes...I've been assuming they use the oil to add the truffle flavor (the shake is $6). For some reason that truffle flavor makes me want to keep drinking. DELICIOUS.

              1. I personally just bought my first jar of white truffle salt and LOVE it. Not everything needs a final splash of oil, I find the salt to be more versatile. I bought it from Sur La Table, Tartuflanghe brand. There's small little pieces of dehydrated white truffles in it and all you need is a few grains..

                2 Replies
                1. re: groover808

                  are you certain that those little blacks specs are the only things adding all of the flavor?

                  1. re: tommy

                    White Truffle Salt from Tartuflanghe packaging says:
                    Grey salt from Guerande (Atlantic Ocean) - 99%
                    freeze dried White Truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico) - .3% (like 1.5 of fresh truffle)
                    flavour

                    So It looks like .7% comes from something else, but you can actually see and eat the specks of freeze dried white truffle. At least there's some of the real stuff in there...I never knew the controversy over the truffle oil!

                2. I like to lightly dress a few bites of nice greens with a homemade dijon and sherry vinegar vinaigrette (made with about 1/2 evo and 1/2 walnut or hazelnut oil) and top the greens with roasted mushrooms and cauliflower. The proportions should be so that the dish is as much or more about the vegetables as it is about the greens. I top all this with a little freshly ground white or black pepper and drizzle truffle oil over all. Makes a simple and elegant first course or small plate.

                  1. I saute my regular white or portobella mushrooms and then splash with truffle oil at the end to amp up the flavor of them.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: weezycom

                      I'm shocked-- I had no idea it was artificially flavored.

                      1. re: jvanderh

                        Most people are. I was too. Even professional chefs around the world were shocked.

                        1. re: Fuller

                          Nuts to truffle oil, Fuller. If your handle pic is real I NEED you to cook for me.

                          1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                            HA! Sorry - not real. :-) Just figured it was a good representation of the word "fuller." Found it online somewhere.

                            1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                              The real me.

                              Only kidding... again.

                               
                      2. Artificial or no, it's great drizzled on mushroom risotto.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: bear

                          I just checked my own oil. It has 2 ingredients on the label: The olive oil, and "truffle extract." Is Extract the same as artificial flavorings?

                          Now that this has been publicized; I would expect some chef or company to start making "true" truffle oil, to appeal to both pro chefs and kitchen enthusiasts. It is expensive, but it's not exactly difficult to make. I'm sure there'd be a ready market for truffle oil made without artificial ingredients.

                          1. re: santamonica811

                            Extract is almost certainly the fake stuff.

                            ...And, actually, according to the article real truffle oil is quite difficult to make. That's one of the reasons (aside from cost) that chemicals are used to simulate it. As the article alluded to, the smell of a truffle is rather fleeting. You can't catch that kind of scent and flavor in a bottle very easily. Once you shave it, the smell is released into the AIR where you sense it; breath it in, take in the aroma, eat your dish. Trying to recreate or capture that scent inside a bottle or more specifically, a bottle of oil is not easy. At least, it's not easy to do cheaply. You could completely a bottle with truffle shavings, fill that bottle with oil and then you would probably have a pretty good truffle oil, but then again, why in the hell would you do that?! I mean, wouldn't those truffle fresh shavings be better suited to be used directly in a dish as opposed to an inferior oil?

                            1. re: Fuller

                              to your point, when you eat a truffle, you don't taste much. it's much more of an olfactory sensation. the notion of "tasting" it, which is what these oils are trying to do, is odd.

                              1. re: tommy

                                I beg to differ: truffles have a very distiinct taste. Yes, the aroma is very strong and unique, but the taste is as well.

                        2. For years I bought imported Italian truffle oil on line, lately I have gotten it from Costco...very good quality. Comes in 8 oz bottles.

                          1. I would think you could make your own truffle oil. It would be expensive.

                            You would want to find a really really good extra virgin olive oil.

                            Then you would have to buy part of a white truffle. Not sure how hard or expensive that would be.

                            Then you could put a few shavings of truffle into a small sealed bottle of your evoo and in a couple of weeks, I assume you would have truffle oil.

                            It looks like amazon sells some for $28 or so. I suppose you could heat the olive oil up to let it get more of the truffle flavor.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tonka11_99

                              you could assume that's the process. but you'd probably be wrong.

                              skip the oil, use real truffles, or don't use anything at all. that's really the point that most people are making, at least with respect to not using chemicals and making reasonable choices.

                            2. Folks, this thread seems to have gone off on some pretty odd tangents about the nature of chemicals. Even discussing the composition of truffle oil would be better on General Topics or Food Media (if it's focused around the NY Times article). We're going to lock this thread up.