The "Truffle Oil" Problem
This recent article from the New York Times reminded us of a grievance that we have had with the production and marketing of truffle oil for years now. Namely, that most commonly available truffle oil is virtually devoid of truffle. The flavoring in these products are entirely derived by chemical additives. Even when one comes across a product that does use actual truffles to flavor olive oil, other flavoring is generally added. This is because the wonderful and unique flavor of truffles is not well preserved by oil.
This, of course, leaves us in a bit of a predicament. Most of us do not have ready access to freshly harvested truffles. So, how can we enjoy this quirky and remarkable gift of nature? The answer is, unfortunately, not with truffle oil. Like so many of the most wonderful things in life, truffles are unique and they defy commodification. At Al Forno we are always grateful when, on rare occasion, truffles make their way to our kitchen but we never look to artificial flavoring to achieve a simulacrum of the experience.