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Truffle Oil: Angel or Demon?

Poll Results: Are Truffle Oils a Good Thing?

 
  • 75% (3)
    True. Truffle Oils are sent by God to help chefs make glorious dishes
  • 0% (0)
    False. Truffle Oils are an Instrument of the Devil, sent to deceive unknowing chefs
  • 25% (1)
    Maybe. Truffle Oils are not the real deal, but they can be a good substitute in some dishes
4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am trying to get a better understanding about truffle oils.  It seems that some chefs love them and others hate them.  It seems that most truffle oils are not even made from truffles, and do not have the same flavor profile.  Some say that it provides a glossy sheen and provides a similar flavor, but mostly serves as an inexpensive substitute for using real truffles.  What do you think about using Truffle Oils?  

 

I also would like some explanation about the 2 videos I provided below.  One video shows Gordon Ramsay using truffle oil and he says its a "chef's dream".  The other video is from MasterChef (US) and has Joe, Elliot, and Ramsay condemning a contestant for using white truffle oil.  Is there something I am missing?  Are some truffle oils acceptable, while others are not?  Or, is it just the case that Ramsay used to think they were okay to use, and now has changed his mind?  Is white truffle oil bad, but black truffle oil is good?  

 

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezfs_vQkfwk

http://www.fox.com/masterchef/videos/317685/truffle-oil?sortby=date&bctag=season+2

post #2 of 13

One thing to remember is that these television shows are about drama, and the best drama seem to be gnerated when being highly opinionated or humiliating the less talented.  I can't explain Ramsay's varied opinions and I think the Masterchef admonishment that all truffle oil is garbage is, well... garbage.

 

One can't turn Krafts Mac & Cheese into a gourmet dish by slathering it with truffle oil.  Nor can many of us afford the real thing.  It must be nice to have someone else paying for it, huh.

 

I've used truffle oil successfully but use it in a limited nubmer of dishes.  Maybe Chef Ramsay and his peeps would retch at my cooking but so what.

post #3 of 13

I don't know what to think.  I love GR so now I'm confused.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 13

Ramsay has no credibility on Master Chef.  The show's "facts" are frequently wrong (beans in "authentic Texas chili"?!), not to mention the ultimate winners were both pretty but by no means the strongest cooks of either season.

 

A current trend is to "dis" truffle oil, but Ramsay is not the only TV chef to land solidly on both sides of the fence.  

 

Truffle oil comes in a range of qualities.  The worst of it is bad oil perfumed with artificial aroma, but some, used sparingly is quite good as a "finish."  I sometimes use it in my barbecue injections as well in an amount small enough to make its identity elusive.  

 

There's a truffle hierarchy which goes something like this:  truffle oil, truffle juice, truffle butter, canned truffle, bottled truffle, Oregon "fresh" truffle, and French/Italian "fresh" truffles.  You can use any of them profitably, to excite the nose and palate, but don't expect truffle oil to do the same thing as the real McCoy.

 

Try it, see what you think, and don't let anyone tell you what to like.

 

BDL

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

 

 

A current trend is to "dis" truffle oil, but Ramsay is not the only TV chef to land solidly on both sides of the fence.  

 

Truffle oil comes in a range of qualities.  The worst of it is bad oil perfumed with artificial aroma, but some, used sparingly is quite good as a "finish."  I sometimes use it in my barbecue injections as well in an amount small enough to make its identity elusive.  

 

There's a truffle hierarchy which goes something like this:  truffle oil, truffle juice, truffle butter, canned truffle, bottled truffle, Oregon "fresh" truffle, and French/Italian "fresh" truffles.  You can use any of them profitably, to excite the nose and palate, but don't expect truffle oil to do the same thing as the real McCoy.

 

Try it, see what you think, and don't let anyone tell you what to like.

 

BDL


 

   I've also noticed a good number of "famous" cooking personalities (some accomplished chefs) making an about face on their previous opinion of truffle oils.  Many of these chefs were touting the praises of truffle oil when they began wider use.  Then the synthetic truffle oil article came out and chefs changed their view on what they were smiling about last week.  The internet cooks quickly followed and many could be seen jumping ship on what they once loved, LOL!

 

 I have seen the same about face on chefs proclaiming that they would never shock vegetables in ice water to "set" the colors, choosing to go natural as the vegetables were meant to be.  Of course, I can remember when they were touting (quite loudly) the benefits of shocking blanched vegetables in ice water.  If you change your opinion fine, explain that.  learning is a process that we will never complete.  

 

Myself, I like truffles.  I sometimes buy fresh truffles, more seldom truffle butter and once in a limited while I'll use truffled olive oil.  My personal hatred is for the jarred and canned truffles, in my opinion a complete waste of money...I cooked a dish with the jarred truffles and actually threw the rest in the garbage.  I thought they were really that bad.

 

 

But we all have to figure out what we like/dislike...don't listen to the "crowds" which change their mind with the crowds.

 

2010-11-15%2B17.08.35.jpg

 

 

;),

Dan

post #6 of 13


So then truffle butter is better than truffle oil?  Because I can easily find both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post


 

   I've also noticed a good number of "famous" cooking personalities (some accomplished chefs) making an about face on their previous opinion of truffle oils.  Many of these chefs were touting the praises of truffle oil when they began wider use.  Then the synthetic truffle oil article came out and chefs changed their view on what they were smiling about last week.  The internet cooks quickly followed and many could be seen jumping ship on what they once loved, LOL!

 

 I have seen the same about face on chefs proclaiming that they would never shock vegetables in ice water to "set" the colors, choosing to go natural as the vegetables were meant to be.  Of course, I can remember when they were touting (quite loudly) the benefits of shocking blanched vegetables in ice water.  If you change your opinion fine, explain that.  learning is a process that we will never complete.  

 

Myself, I like truffles.  I sometimes buy fresh truffles, more seldom truffle butter and once in a limited while I'll use truffled olive oil.  My personal hatred is for the jarred and canned truffles, in my opinion a complete waste of money...I cooked a dish with the jarred truffles and actually threw the rest in the garbage.  I thought they were really that bad.

 

 

But we all have to figure out what we like/dislike...don't listen to the "crowds" which change their mind with the crowds.

 

2010-11-15%2B17.08.35.jpg

 

 

;),

Dan


Is that mac n cheese?  Looks scrumptuous!!  What's your recipe and what kind of noodle is that?

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post


So then truffle butter is better than truffle oil?  Because I can easily find both.


Is that mac n cheese?  Looks scrumptuous!!  What's your recipe and what kind of noodle is that?

 

 

No, I wasn't trying to say that truffle butter is better or worse than truffle oil.  Only that I find myself using truffle butter more often than truffle oil.  To me, they are really used for two different applications.  I'll buy the truffle butter and use it up on bread, for vegetables, etc. 

 

Mac -N- Cheese?  surprised.gif Oh no...did I do a bad job!  (lol)  It's Fettuccine Alfredo, with a bit of prosciutto and black truffle shavings.  I don't remember which Alfredo recipe I made in the picture.  I make two recipes...my preferred recipe is "The Real Alfredo Recipe" with creamed butter, which was brought to my attention by BDL.  The other is a decent recipe using cream, which is what my wife prefers.  This picture was taken a while ago and I'm not sure which recipe it is, lately if I make it I please my wife :).  The picture above is lightly sauced and crumbled Reggiano added.  

 

But we've been making more seafood than heavier dishes lately.

 

Dan

 

 

 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Everyone had some really great input!  Well, I think I will end up giving it a try.  Anyone have a recommendations for a "good" truffle oil to buy?  How about for truffle butter, etc?

post #9 of 13

I'm not enamored with truffles, never have been.....though I've used LULU's truffle honey as a drizzle on "softly melted morbier on a crostini"....todays lunch menu includes mushroom risotto (I'm thinking crimini instead of wild) drizzled with truffle oil, per client's request to serve with fish.  Goal is to not overwhelm the fish.....if it appears to swamp it, then it becomes two separate dishes.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 13

I really do like truffle oil as an ingredient, but I have found an extremely wide range of quality, from stuff whose truffle kinship was evident only from the label, to oils that richly tasted of this pricey fungus. I like doing a "wild" musroom pizza drizzled with truffle oil and a complementary mild cheese.

 

A truffle butter recipe that we've really enjoyed involved a butterflied and pounded pork loin, spread with truffle butter and mortadella, rolled, tied, rubbed with a garlic peppercorn butter, and roasted. A fellow cook said "Best Pork Loin Ever".

 

Alas, I can't claim credit for this one. It's from the late, lamented Gourmet magazine:  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mortadella-Stuffed-Pork-Loin-with-Rosemary-Roasted-Potatoes-107808

post #11 of 13

Those olive oil stores with the large variety of different flavored olive oils and vinegars will usually carry a wild-mushroom infused oil of some kind. I actually like it way better than truffle oil, as far as fungi flavored oil goes.  Sorry if this is way off topic. But I've never been privileged enough to eat a real truffle shaved or grated over anything. I can't say whether or not if truffle oil really taste like truffle; or if it's true, and truffle oil was made by perfume makers and tastes nothing like it at all.  GR bashed it on Master Chef, but he also said it was overwhelming, or something along those lines.  The best ingredients can sometimes be too much.  Any ingredient is a good ingredient when used by somebody who knows what they're doing. But the inexperienced with vanity items in their hands can go wrong very very quickly.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Would it be safe to say that better quality truffle oils would be the ones flavored with a more neutral oil, like grapeseed oil, so that it interferes less with the truffle flavor?

post #13 of 13

Posted by litlmike View Post

Would it be safe to say that better quality truffle oils would be the ones flavored with a more neutral oil, like grapeseed oil, so that it interferes less with the truffle flavor?


No.

 

BDL

 

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