About Truffle Oil[ PURCHASE INFO ]
Truffle Oil: The term truffle oil refers to oil infused with truffle mushrooms. Not actually mushrooms, truffles are the fruit body of a fungus that grows underground. Truffle oil at it's finest is truffle mushrooms steeped in a high quality olive oil. The olive oil picks up the earthy flavors of the fungus. Truffles have a very strong natural flavor and should be used sparingly in recipes, because truffle oil has a milder truffle flavor and aroma it is ideal for cooking. Truffle oil is also less expensive, making it one of the most popular truffle products.
White truffle oil is slightly more potent than black truffle oil. White truffles have a more pronounced, peppery truffle flavor. Truffle oil should be used more as a flavoring in recipes, it should be heated gently, if at all, and added toward the end of cooking time or lightly drizzled over cuisine to retain it's earthy aroma. Truffle oil will lose some of it's flavor with age, so keep it cool or use it quickly once opened.
Because of their more potent flavor and aroma white winter truffles are more valued than black summer truffles. White truffles weighing around 3 pounds can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. This makes truffle hunting a competitive activity which is regulated in some countries. Finding truffles is easy, for humans that is. Truffles contain a pheromone-like substance that is very attractive to female pigs. Pigs are natural truffle hunters but they love to eat them. Before they became dear, truffles were considered no more than pig feed in some countries. Modern truffle hunters can use dogs, dogs are preferred because they won't eat the truffles, but they must be trained.
Most truffle oil you buy today isn't real truffle oil. An aromatic common to the fungus (2,4-dithiapentane) is added to the oil to give it a truffle-like flavor. One producer actually refers to it's oil as: "a laboratory natural process". You can however make your own truffle oil. Start with a light olive oil and some thin sliced truffle. The truffle must be dry. Warm the oil gently and add the truffle slices. Seal the mixture in a glass container and let it sit for 1-2 months. Again, use sparingly, a little goes a long way.
Where to buy: Truffle