Guide to Cheese Types
Truffle Oil - Gourmet Guide
June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly
Truffle Oil is an amazing condiment made by infusing essence of truffle into a base oil, usually olive oil. Truffle Oil comes in especially handy if you are unable to source fresh truffles for your culinary dishes. Truffle Oil imparts the exquisite flavor of Truffles into your favorite meals at a fraction of the cost. A few drops is all that is really needed to capture the distinct rich, earthy and sumptuous flavors that Truffle Oil imparts.
Truffle Oil gets its flavor from the essence of truffles, a member of the fungi family that has been collected by humans for thousands of years. Truffles grow underground in concert with the roots of certain trees. Irregularly and spherically shaped, there are hundreds of varieties of Truffles, but only a handful are able to be eaten as a food. Since Truffles are difficult to find and impossible (so far) to cultivate, they are only available during certain times of the year. Because of their difficulty in sourcing, truffles may command prices up to a few thousands of dollars per pound! Their earthy, unique enticing flavors and aromas contribute to a taste that is like no other food on the earth. French gastronome Brillat-Savarin even called these little culinary treasures "Diamonds of the Kitchen."
Truffle Oil was introduced commercially in the 1980s but had been created by chefs and gourmets in Europe as early as the 1700s by steeping tiny pieces of truffles in a high quality oil. Today some Truffle Oils are made with actual truffles, while most are flavored with the aroma of truffles, a difficult task that is mastered by very few. Truffles or their aroma are usually blended with oils such as the neutrally flavored grapeseed oil or a delicately flavored olive oil. Most products on the market are either labelled Truffle Olive Oil or Extra Virgin Truffle Olive Oil, but the olive oil used in making Truffle Oil is always extra virgin. Black Truffle Oil is considered to be more intense and pungent than the more subtle White Truffle Oil, whose flavor is milder and almost garlicky.
Truffle Oil is best used as a finishing oil, as opposed to a cooking oil, as heat will taint its flavor. Truffle Oil is best when used sparingly as a drizzle over foods, as its flavor is deep and pungent. As an alternative to Truffle Butter, Truffle Oil may be applied over scrambled eggs or may be added to mashed potatoes to add a unique earthy flavor. Truffle Oil is ideal for pasta, risotto, poultry or beef, and is spectacular when used as dipping oil or when added to a simple vinaigrette. Drizzle Truffle Oil over steamed vegetables or fresh salad greens for a unique eating experience, or combine with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and roasted garlic and spread on a fresh piece of bread.
Whether you prefer the luxurious flavor of White Truffle Oil or the earthy flavor of Black Truffle Oil, you will find numerous choices online at igourmet. To find the best gourmet foods and gift baskets online, begin your search at igourmet.com.