Truffle oil is a modern culinary ingredient, used to impart the flavor and aroma of truffles to a dish.
Most truffle oils are not made from actual truffles, but are a synthetic product that combines a thioether (2,4-dithiapentane), one of numerous aromas or odorants found in truffles, with an olive oil or grapeseed oil base. As with pure olive oils, these range from clear to cloudy, and yellow to green. Thioether is a carbon-sulphur-carbon-sulphur-carbon chain that you get when combining a cabbage-smelling thiol compound with formaldehyde. The thiol compound most commonly used in this chemical reaction can also be found in bad breath and flatulence.
Truffle oil is commonly used to make "truffle fries," which feature French fries tossed in truffle oil, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and sometimes other ingredients. Some pasta dishes and whipped dishes such as mashed potatoes or deviled eggs incorporate truffle oil.
Truffle oil, available in all seasons and steady in price, is popular with chefs (and diners) because it is significantly less expensive than actual truffles, while possessing some of the same flavors and aroma. The emergence and growth of truffle oil has led to an increase in the availability of foods claiming to be made with or flavored with truffles, in an era when the price of truffles has pushed them out of reach for most diners. Real truffle oil (which contains more truffle than oil instead of the other way around) can go for $90 an ounce.
Opinions of Chefs 
- "In the Kitchen: Ingredients - Truffle Oil", Bon Appetit.
- Koenig, Leah (March 10, 2009), "Truffle Oil", Saveur.
- Patterson, Daniel (May 16, 2007), "Hocus-Pocus, and a Beaker of Truffles", The New York Times.
- "Chef Ramsay calling truffle oil a chef's delight".
- Rene Lynch (June 7, 2011). "Chef Gordon Ramsay on the one ingredient you should NOT have in your pantry". Daily Dish. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
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