Truffle oil

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Naturally flavored truffle oil (olive oil with black truffle)

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. Instead they are a synthetic product that combines a thioether (2,4-dithiapentane), one of numerous aromas or odorants found in truffles, with an oil base.[1] As with pure olive oils, these range from clear to cloudy, and yellow to green.[2]

Truffle oil is commonly used to make "truffle fries," which feature French fries tossed in truffle oil and sometimes other ingredients. Some will incorporate truffle oil into pasta dishes and whipped dishes such as mashed potatoes or deviled eggs.[2] Truffle oil may be incorporated into a pizza, as well. Truffle oil, in fact, may be incorporated into any dish if one wishes.

Truffle oil, available in all seasons and steady in price, is popular with some chefs (and some diners) because it is much less expensive than actual truffles, while possessing a related flavor 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.


In a New York Times article, Daniel Patterson complained, "[truffle oil's] one-dimensional flavor is also changing common understanding of how a truffle should taste."[3]

Gordon Ramsay has referred to natural truffle oil as "a chef's dream",[4] and to synthetic truffle oil as "one of the most pungent, ridiculous ingredients ever known to [this] chef."

Anthony Bourdain said, "Let it be stated here, unto forever and eternity, truffle oil is not food."[5]

Martha Stewart expressed her dislike of truffle oil in a 2014 post on Reddit, stating "I think truffle oil is one of the few ingredients that doesn't belong in anyone's kitchen. It's ruinous of most recipes."[6]

Joe Bastianich said, "It’s made by perfumists. It’s garbage olive oil with perfume added to it, and it’s very difficult to digest. It’s bad for you. It’s bad for New Yorkers. It’s bad for the American people. So, stop it.". [7]


  1. ^ "In the Kitchen: Ingredients - Truffle Oil", Bon Appetit, retrieved March 12, 2014 
  2. ^ a b Koenig, Leah (March 10, 2009), "Truffle Oil", Saveur .
  3. ^ Patterson, Daniel (May 16, 2007), "Hocus-Pocus, and a Beaker of Truffles", The New York Times .
  4. ^ "Gordon Ramsay - Truffled cream cheese". YouTube. October 17, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Guilty Pleasures". The Taste. Season 2, Episode 3. January 16, 2014. American Broadcasting Company.
  6. ^ "I'm Martha Stewart. Ask me almost anything! It's a good thing.". Reddit. March 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Eataly Founder Joe Bastianich Tells Us How He Really Feels About Truffle Oil". Huffington Post. October 31, 2014.