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Pantry Staples: Truffle Oil

T ruffle Oil is a versatile, modern ingredient usually used as a finishing oil on dishes that call for an earthy flavor and aroma.

Pantry Staples: Truffle Oil - Our Products – Dartagnan.com

The Real Deal with Truffle Oil
In the last few years, truffle oil has gotten a bit of a bad rap with some chefs and in certain food-writing circles. In the 1990s, it was hot trend that popped up on menus seemingly everywhere. Its widespread (and often heavy-handed) use combined with an aversion to how truffle oil is made caused it to fall out of favor with some ‘foodies’. Truffle oil isn’t made from real truffle – but don’t immediately assume that’s a bad thing. The concept behind truffle oil is to be able to enjoy truffle aroma and flavor without using real (rare, expensive and seasonal) truffles. Steeping genuine truffle in oil may seem the logical way to manufacture truffle oil but in fact, infusing truffles in oil gives a less than potent, often unreliable flavor that dissipates quickly. This is where molecular gastronomy and food science step in! Real truffles, both Black Winter Tuber melanosporum and White Alba Tuber magnatum, contain several naturally occurring odor compounds, such as the unattractively named but wonderfully pungent, “2,4-Dithiapentane”. The individual compounds that make up a fresh truffle’s ‘secret formula’ occur naturally in other foods. Food scientists are able to combine these organic scent compounds in specific ratios to create concentrated truffle essence. The essence is then carefully added to carrier oils such as olive, grape seed or sunflower creating a full-flavored, robust and lasting truffle-scented oil that is but a fraction of the cost of the real thing and available year round. We’re not saying truffle oil is a substitute for real, fresh truffles. What we are saying is truffle oil is a fine ingredient if you’re looking to add earthy, musky flavor to a dish without spending a lot of money.

A Little Drop’ll Do Ya!
For the best flavor, less is definitely more when it comes using truffle oil. A small touch of truffle oil added to a dish right before serving will add earthiness without overpowering. Both black and white truffle oils can intensify truffle flavor in a recipe when used alongside real, fresh truffle. And a scant amount can lend a subtle, luxurious flavor to a dish when diluted into a carrier, such as olive oil, before adding. Think of truffle oil as you do perfume. It’s a finishing touch that when applied correctly with a light hand adds intrigue and charm.

Varieties
D’Artagnan Black Truffle Oil is made with clean-tasting sunflower oil and carefully crafted Black Winter Truffle essence. It has an intense, musky aroma and complex flavor. Black Truffle Oil adds an earthy character to mashed potatoes and french fries, gives simple egg dishes complexity and lends a headiness to hot-off-the-stove popcorn.

Our White Truffle Oil is made from first pressed, pure olive oil and Italian white truffle essence. It has a robust, earthy aroma with notes of fresh garlic. White truffle oil adds a kiss of truffle aroma to savory custards, makes a wonderful finishing oil for risotto or ricotta gnocchi, gives an earthy kick to salad dressings and is the crowning touch on Robiola, prosciutto and roasted garlic pizza.