Friday, January 5, 2007

Worst of 2006: White Truffle Oil


Truffles, like foie gras and viable Cleveland Browns quarterbacks, are the stuff of rumor - much discussed, much hyped, but never personally encountered. We did try a truffle infused honey once, but it was very ... earthy, and earthy and sweet honey make for an odd combination that I just did not know what to do with. So when I saw a bottle of da Rosario White Truffle Oil, I snapped it up. White truffle oil seemed to be all the rage in the expensive coffee table cookbooks - surely we would now know what makes truffles so beloved and sought after.

Alas, much like the Browns' season, the white truffle oil was a major disappointment. Foodgoat took one taste, declared it dreadful, and hasn't touched it since. Anthony Bourdain ridiculed truffle oil as the "ketchup of the middle class," and after sampling it myself, I too am mystified as to why it seems to be used in every restaurant menu item besides the French fries.

And so, after months of sitting, untouched, on our shelf, this weekend I will ceremoniously dump the oh-so-trendy white truffle oil. Don't worry, it will go out gloriously, if not tastefully. I'm going to use it in the very popular backyard Does It Burn? game.

6 comments:

  1. Holly9:53 AM

    Oof, if truffle oil is the ketchup of the MC, I can only imagine what my truffle oil in a plastic SPRAY BOTTLE from TJ Maxx would be called.

    Give truffle honey another chance--on fried chicken and biscuits! Holy St. Francis of Assisi is it fantastic!

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    1. Anonymous1:18 AM

      It would be called an artificial flavoring in a plastic bottle. At least the container is appropriate. The stuff is awful. If you like this you probably can stomach artificial vanilla flavoring.

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  2. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Bourdain is a fool - one of those arrogant "celebrity" types who makes assertions that are bold and polarizingly opinionated, but hollow. His middle-class ketchup fetches a pretty penny worldwide, and is considered a delicacy of the European sophisticate.

    Truffles appear with great frequency in the magnificent menus of Italy, and to hear the locals discuss the complexity of the "tartufo" is reason enough to give it a shot (or another, in your case). There are many varieties of truffle, and in fact each new month in Italy brings a different type of truffle with new nuances of flavor. Maybe you're more of a March person?

    The equally assertive Brillat-Savarin, with his pedigreed French palate, considered the truffle the "diamond of the kitchen." Give it another go and see if you can't understand what the rest of the world drools after. Mmmmmmmm.

    Great website, by the way.

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    1. Kayla1:18 PM

      Bourdain dislikes truffle OIL, not the truffles themselves. Mainly because truffle oil doesn't have any truffles in it at all. It is flavored with artificial truffle "essence." Truffle's are considered a "delicacy of the European sophisticate," not truffle oil.

      Everything that you are saying about truffles is correct, and I'm sure Bourdain would agree with you.

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  3. Anonymous10:31 AM

    I have tried the da Rosario white truffle olive oil and I find it the most authenic out there. I don't know if you have eaten a lot of fresh white truffles in your time, but I have so I don't find comments very meaningful. Also when celeb chef's make comments by belittling products as so middle class, everyone should take offense. So sorry that not everyone ca afford fresh white truffles on their eggs in the morning ($160oz for good quality white truffles)

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    1. Anonymous1:39 AM

      There are some things that shouldn't be eaten if you can't get the real thing. Not from a snob perspective, but because the imitations are just crap and you shouldn't even try. 99.999% of truffle oil isn't close to being real. Even those little expensive jars of truffle bits and trimmings aren't worth buying at any price - they are tasteless. I can't afford real truffles just now, and having tried the oil and the bits long ago, I will never again have any desire to have anything containing either the oil or the jarred bits. Now if you can actually find real truffle oil containing real truffles, go at it - but you may as well buy real truffles, 'cause real truffle oil is also extremely - EXTREMELY - expensive, and the essense of real truffles is evanescent and fleeting.

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