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Where can I find REAL truffle oil

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secondsplz Jan 28, 2011 11:08 AM

I've heard that all the truffle oil that is sold is really still just infused chemically, even if it states differently. Could that be true? Where do I get the real stuff??

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  1. i
    InfoMofo RE: secondsplz Jan 28, 2011 11:35 AM

    I don't know what this has to do with manhattan, but it's my understanding that there are no extractable oils from truffles that allow you to replicate their flavors in an oil, so what is sold as truffle oil is a chemical approximation.

    If you're asking where to get the real truffles, there are plenty of specialty shops that sell them in new york such as the Italian Market in Chelsea Market.

    1. k
      kathryn RE: secondsplz Jan 28, 2011 11:49 AM

      The real stuff is real truffles! :)

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/din...

      "The flavor of real truffles, especially black, is evanescent, difficult to capture in an oil under the best of circumstances."

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn
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        secondsplz RE: kathryn Jan 28, 2011 12:24 PM

        Thank you for the link. I live in New York, that is what it has to do with Manhattan.

      2. Miss Needle RE: secondsplz Jan 28, 2011 12:27 PM

        I'm a much larger fan of truffle salt over truffle oil. The flavors tend to come out more. But I find the quality of salts to be quite varied.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Miss Needle
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          secondsplz RE: Miss Needle Jan 28, 2011 12:41 PM

          Thank you, I have never tried truffle salt. Do you have a specific brand or store that you purchase one that you enjoy, from?

          1. re: secondsplz
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            InfoMofo RE: secondsplz Jan 28, 2011 12:43 PM

            The Filling Station at Chelsea Market carries truffle salt.

            As with the oils though, I'm fairly certain it's still flavored by the chemical, and not by actual truffles.

            1. re: secondsplz
              Miss Needle RE: secondsplz Jan 28, 2011 12:50 PM

              The best one I've had was from Far West Fungi (though I haven't tried the Chelsea Market one). It's in San Francisco but they do mail order. I will say that I've had a bit of a mixed experience with them. The first jar I've purchased was more expensive and the ingredient were pretty much salt and truffles. The second jar was cheaper and said there was truffle flavoring in addition to truffles and salt. The first jar was so much better. I'm not sure which one they're selling these days.

              http://store.farwestfungi.com/fwf100....

              1. re: Miss Needle
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                Stein the Fine RE: Miss Needle Feb 21, 2011 07:46 AM

                The product you linked to is salt w/ SUMMER truffles. At least it is an unadulterated product, but it doesn't taste of actual black truffles, but of another underground fungi that is said to be a milder, though pleasant, flavor that doesn't activate the pleasure centers in quite the way actual black & white truffles do. In other words, summer truffles are not out-of-season black truffles, but something tasting more akin to mushrooms. Regarding the taste, I am speaking only from hearsay as I am on this board to find an affordable way to sample the amazing taste of truffles, myself. However I have verified that "summer truffles" are not what is traditionally called truffles at all.

                I plan to contact the store to object to their description that erroneously refers to "black truffles". Though I doubt this was intentional, it is legally fraud.

                1. re: Stein the Fine
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                  rrems RE: Stein the Fine Feb 21, 2011 09:12 AM

                  Interesting. I did not know that summer truffles are not actually truffles, but i did know that they are virtually tasteless. Now I know why.

                  1. re: Stein the Fine
                    Miss Needle RE: Stein the Fine Feb 21, 2011 09:15 AM

                    As I'm looking at the label, it seems that this is the one with truffle flavoring added. The first jar I ordered was not summer truffle and it was really really good. The one they're selling now is probably like my second jar -- so I'd probably say not worth it right now.

              2. re: Miss Needle
                pikawicca RE: Miss Needle Jan 28, 2011 12:52 PM

                I find that the best ones have lots of truffle bits in them.

                1. re: pikawicca
                  chefathome RE: pikawicca Jan 28, 2011 12:53 PM

                  Or better yet, a whole truffle! :-D Yum.

              3. boredough RE: secondsplz Jan 28, 2011 12:46 PM

                Urbani Truffles (10 West End Ave) sells a variety of truffled products, including oils & salt.

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                Urbani Truffles
                10 West End Ave, New York, NY 10023

                1 Reply
                1. re: boredough
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                  Stein the Fine RE: boredough Feb 21, 2011 08:02 AM

                  I'm sure their fresh truffles are amazing, but their salt has only 2% actual truffles and added "aromas". It is basically a synthetic product as that tiny amount of truffle is most likely not discernable on food. Some salts are as much as 10% truffles, but only the most expensive ones are traditional truffles, rather than "summer truffles"--a different fungi altogether.

                2. erica RE: secondsplz Jan 29, 2011 10:38 AM

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/din...

                  1. sgordon RE: secondsplz Jan 29, 2011 02:09 PM

                    I've yet to taste a truffle oil that even tasted good, let alone like truffles.

                    That said, what the poster above said about truffle salt was right on - there are some decent ones for adding a touch of truffle flavor. No, it's not like shaving an actual truffle over something, but good ones (there's one I get from D&D that I can't remember the name of that's decent) come in handy, especially out of truffle season. Nice for rubbing on a steak, certainly.

                    I also find the D'Artagnan black truffle butter quite good. The white truffle one is okay, serviceable, but the black for whatever reason is pretty excellent for what it is. Again, it's not "the real deal" - but it's great tossed in some pasta with a bit of reggiano, or mounting a sauce with. There are actual real truffle bits in it, so that helps.

                    Oils, though, fall flat - even the ones with a truffle right there in the bottle.

                    1. m
                      mike3183 RE: secondsplz Jan 31, 2011 06:48 AM

                      Eataly has a couple nice ones to buy

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                      Eataly
                      200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

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                        gobyfish RE: secondsplz Apr 6, 2014 09:47 AM

                        I picked up a bottle of De Medici Gastronomia Truffle Oil from Whole Foods. Label indicates ingredients are olive oil and white truffles. Made by steeping white truffles in olive oil for 24 day. I was a bit skeptical at first, but after the first whiff of the scent, i was sold. aroma and taste was most definitely like the real thing. I had read that all truffle oils are chemically made, is that not true??

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gobyfish
                          sgordon RE: gobyfish Apr 7, 2014 07:48 AM

                          There are a couple brands on the market that use actual truffles, although there are a few different kinds of "white truffle" out there - if it doesn't specify which kind (i.e. for white truffles it should say "Truffle d'Alba" or "Tuber Magnatum" - which is not to be confused with the less-expensive "Tuber Magnatum Pico") then you can be sure it's one of the cheaper, less aromatic varieties.

                          That said, most of the aroma/flavor molecules of truffles aren't soluble in oil, so even if they have some kind of truffle in them, doesn't matter how long they steep it or what kind they use - they're not picking up the full spectrum of flavors. (That's why butters, which have some water content, fare -slightly- better)

                          On top of that, the flavor might be decent enough upon opening the bottle, but because the aromatics are so unstable it'll lose flavor rather quickly, no matter how tight you screw the cap back on. Those made with olive oil are particularly bad in that regard - not that I'd buy any of them, personally, but a sunflower or grapeseed base is far superior as they degrade slower.

                        2. c
                          cobpdx RE: secondsplz Apr 6, 2014 11:21 AM

                          These are made from Oregon black or white truffles (yes, they do grow wild in Oregon), but still might do the trick. I have spoken with the owner directly and they are made from the truffles themselves, NOT with artificial/natural "flavors".

                          http://www.oregontruffleoil.com

                          1. d
                            DavyTheFatBoy RE: secondsplz Apr 8, 2014 06:28 PM

                            What is "real" about Truffle oil? Truffles don't have oil. If you want real oil, try olive oil or corn oil or safflower oil.

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