Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60
I still like truffle oil and I will still be using it. It's the only way I can afford truffle flavor.
I agree. It has its place. Interesting article though. I once got to try the real deal fresh white truffles in Northern Italy. It was a tiny restaurant with 6 tables and only locals know about it. The chef was so happy that an American was visiting his restaurant that he came out personally to show me all the truffles they had and he shaved one onto some fresh pasta (only pasta, butter and the shaved truffles). I think he even lost money on the dish just so I could experience the real thing. It WAS absolutely amazing. There was definitely no additional truffle oil added either but it was about as rich as I've ever tasted real truffles be (without being enhanced with the oil). I am glad I got to experience that for reference. Every other time I've tried a less expensive imported white (or black) truffle it was inferior... and I had a feeling it was very sensitive to the amount of time out of the ground as the article points out. So the oil can help bring back the richness of the flavor - even though it IS actually a slightly different flavor.
I've also noticed some differences in quality between truffle oils. Some are tasty but a bit "amped" like the article says. I do like that but the less is more thing makes sense. Go easy on it. However, I've also had some truffle oils that taste a little funny. I am not sure if it has to do with the brand or the amount of time on the shelf after being opened but it was a bit.... hmmmm, how do I describe it? Chemical tasting? Not vinegar-like but something like that. Artificial. Anyone ever experience that? It's weird. I WANT to like it but it's just too strong. I've been lucky the last couple of times I've gotten truffle oil were more just the amped up flavor more similar to truffles and not as weird tasting but before that the experience put me off a little.
Another fun thing to use is truffle paste. Although I imagine it's a similar thing with the artificial oils mixed with the paste of black truffles. Still... it does taste good and all of these truffle-flavored solutions are simply a lot cheaper than the real thing... and if you consider that unless you live in Italy or France even if you DID have the budget for real truffles... would they have the best flavor without being enhanced with the oil anyway? Good question.