Truffle Oil: Here’s what you should to know
Here’s what you need to know
Truffles naturally contain no oil. For the production, no complete mushrooms are used. It is sufficient to use mushroom remnants in the form of shells and fragments. Especially in the bowls, many flavorings are later crucial for the oil. These mushroom remnants are inserted in vegetable oil. You can either use sunflower oil or light olive oil.
Sunflower oil has an advantage as it is neutral in taste and thus the truffle oil has a pure truffle flavor. In contrast, olive oil has a pronounced taste that influences the truffle flavor. The still used olive oil hardly have any taste, thus the finished truffle oil tastes only slightly different from olives. However, this change in taste is partly intentional, as it adds another nuance to less flavor-intensive truffle varieties.
The correct storage of truffle oil
The truffle pieces, which have been preserved in oil, are first stored in a light container, at daylight, and room temperature. This process takes different lengths, usually over several days. Due to the conditions that have to be achieved, the aroma of the truffle goes to the oil. After the first storage phase, the truffle pieces are sifted out of the oil. The intermediate is then filled into a dark bottle and stored in a cool and dark place. Truffle oil behaves similar to red wine in that the longer the storage time, the more complexity and flavor wins. Incidentally, the truffle pieces used for oil production can still be eaten after being sifted out.
Artificial truffle oil
Another method of producing a truffle-flavored oil has become widespread. It is completely dispensed with the use of real truffle parts. Instead, a flavor is used to mimic the taste. The common method is by use of bismethylthiomethane, which is also responsible for the flavor of the truffles. However, the substance in this industrial method is not obtained from real mushrooms, but from LPG.
The manufacturing process is also noticeably reflected in the price, apart from the fact that it cannot quite keep up with the taste of the real truffle oils, the introduction to the world of truffle cooking, is well suited.
What to look for when buying truffle oil
Authentic truffle oil has a very distinctive and complex taste that aims to fully transfer the truffle flavor to the refined foods. Synthetic products do not have this taste complexity. They are much lower in price than real truffle oils.
Quality characteristic- truffle aroma
To enjoy the full taste of truffle oil, you have to pay attention to certain quality features. Industrial products use terms such as “flavor”, “nature-identical flavor” or “truffle flavor”. Such descriptions give information that in the production no real truffles or truffle parts have been used. Therefore, consumers should be careful when buying genuine truffles. To serve as the basis for the flavor, only receive the valuable culinary delicacy of the genuine truffle oil.
Ingredients contribute to the taste of the truffle oil
The ingredients used are the number one quality guarantors of premium truffle oil. Some manufacturers use exquisite Perigord or Alba truffles for oil production and not only resort to the truffle remains such as skin and fragments, but insert the entire mushroom in parts. Such oils are among the highest quality and most expensive and offer the most authentic truffle flavor.
Consumers should, therefore, check which variety is used to make the truffle oil. If the manufacturer relies on less flavor-intensive varieties or uses waste products from truffles for the production, the quality and taste intensity is not comparable to the selected whole-truffle périgord oils. Nevertheless, it has its justification, because it is very well suited for mixing sauces or salad dressings and finds its use in everyday cooking.
Make truffle oil yourself
Truffle oil recipes
Below are the main recipes for using the noble truffle oil. In all recipes, truffle oil is mainly used as the dominant oil for the taste.
Pasta with truffle oil
This is the easiest way to enhance pasta with truffle oil. You can make the al dente cooked pasta with just the oil and some Parmesan cheese. Since the pasta has no strong taste, it serves as the basis for the truffle oil. The Parmesan provides with its salt content for balance. To get a creamier texture, you can stir a raw egg into the hot pasta.
The flavor of the truffle oil intensifies when the oil is heated. When combined with hot pasta, the oil is brought to an optimal temperature. If the heat is too high, flavor carriers can evaporate. Consumers should pay attention to this when cooking with the truffle oil. It is best to bring some butter to a simmer, swirl the al dente cooked pasta underneath and finally pour a good shot of truffle oil over it.
Potatoes with truffle oil
Certain black truffles have a very earthy aroma, which makes them a balanced partner for potatoes. When preparing mashed potatoes, a piece of butter and a pinch of nutmeg can also be added to truffle oil. In this combination, both ingredients benefit from each other’s tastes. The intense truffle flavor finds in the potato a taste extremely well-fitting base without being overly heavy.
Sauces and salad with truffle oil
Truffle oil is suitable as a basis for sauces. Shallots, vinegar, broth, cream, and truffle oil, for example, can be boiled down to a creamy sauce and served with meat dishes. Alternatively, meat that has been put in a truffle oil marinade before preparation tastes very delicious.
The marinade brings the truffle flavor deep into the meat pores and enriches it from the inside. Truffle oil can also be used for a classic vinaigrette. This can be used to refine simple lettuce or create distinctive flavors.
Sweets with truffle oil
Even in the list of ingredients of sweet food, the truffle oil can be found. The partly nutty taste blends into the sweetness and, above all, is very harmonious with chocolate. Chocolates with a truffle flavor are particularly popular, although it is important to distinguish between a praline with a truffle flavor and a praline with a different flavor but whose shape is reminiscent of that of the truffle mushroom.