Truffle, that sounds like music to the ears! Who doesn't get all excited when hearing that delightful word full of promises? I'm pretty sure nobody!
So, today, I thought that I'd introduce you to a truffle-related goodie dear to my little heart: Truffle Oil. This fascinating gourmet product is incredibly aromatic and so versatile that it is impossible not to immediately fall in love with it...
Truffle oil is a high-quality olive oil that has been infused with the flavor of either white (alba truffle/tuber magnatum) or black (tuber melonasporum) truffles. It has an earthy, fragrant, sensual, savory, heady, odoriferous, nostril-filling, head-swelling, robust, nearly offensive and multifaceted flavor. I sometimes compare the aroma of truffles to the way the Devil's sulphuric breath might smell (reek?) after having eaten raw garlic. Heaven and hell in a bottle!
This lush oil gives a burst of flavor to any savory dish. But, as it has a strong concentrated aroma, it is recommended to use it sparingly. Therefore you should drizzle it over your food - no pouring here. It is best used with/on mashed potatoes, vegetables, mushrooms, eggs (scrambled preferably) , slices of fresh bread, meat (raw like a carpaccio), crostini, bruschette, risottos, frittatas, foccacia, pizzas, asparagus, pasta, fancy salads (for the vinaigrette), seafood (preferably scallops and white fish), thick soups (velouté), purees (beans, vegetable, etc...), shaved cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino, Gruyère, Sbrinz, Brie, etc...), savory ice creams, dips and sauces.
Always, remember not to cook it, otherwise it'll lose all it's perfume and efficiency. Just sprinkle a few drops over a warm dish, once it has been served. Neither should you forget that bottled truffle oil does tend to lose it's characteristic aroma over time (as it is a truffle extract infusion), so store in the refrigerator and eat it as fast as possible (that should not be a problem, though!).
And be warned, as surprising as it might sound, most truffle oils are actually a chemical concoction. Much of the truffle oil found on the market today hasn’t actually been truffle infused or made with any actual truffle. Carefully read the label before buying your precious oil. If it reads "Truffle Essence" or "Truffle Aroma", or even "Summer Truffle" (a cousin of the black or white truffle/tuber aestivum) or "Grey Truffle" (found in America/tuber miesentericum), then there is no doubt that the aroma will be a 100% synthetic (see this video) or just not like the real thing.
Real Truffle oil is pure decadence. It is like an aphrodisiac; one whiff of that seductive and intoxicating smell will send you to heaven and will consume your soul like the fierest fires of hell!