Truffle Oil is Fake News

What betch doesn’t love truffles? We know we ALL do. If you thought truffle oil was made with truffles, well you were dead wrong. We break it all down for you here. Warning: This MAY keep you up tonight! 

True truffle oil is made by infusing olive oils with any of a variety of truffles, including French truffle oil, black truffle oil, and white truffle. These exotic oils may be used to dress salads, add a nice finish to appetizers, or even to season pasta dishes (our fav, duh).

Real Truffles, Hell Yes

What makes truffles uniquely complex and attractive is the richness of their fragrance, which are a combination of multiple scents depending on where the truffles were grown. OG truffle stans know that truffles from Umbria have a garlicky fragrance while truffles from the Piemonte region are more delicate with a light floral aroma. The influence of the terroir on the aroma and flavor of natural truffles is part of what makes it a sought after ingredient by top chefs and betches.

WTF is Wrong With Truffle Oil 

It may feel like an attack on everything you hold near and dear but unfortunately, the rumors are true: the majority of commercially-marketed truffle oils are not actually made with truffles. Instead, they contain a chemical that mimics the fragrance of truffles. Designed in a laboratory, synthetic 2,4-dithiapentane adds an overtly pungent flavoring to foods that is considered by some to be an abomination to the senses. No need to pretend any longer. 

But WHY?!

Why is this allowed? It all started in the 90’s (just like Autotune). Back then, fancy foods were becoming “the thing” and chefs were making a name for themselves in a race to claim faithful followers (we mean restaurant guests, not IG followers) for their restaurants. These greedy chefs resorted to fake flavorings with fancy names to build their following.

Those with unsophisticated palettes (…that’s most of us) were unaware that this was being done and bought into the hype. Some even grew accustomed to the flavoring and prefer it to the real oils- LAME! 

How to Spot Fake Truffle Oil

Now that you know that fake truffle oil is made with chemicals, you’re on the way to being able to spot it. Because of food labeling laws, chemically-enhanced oils must list their chemical ingredients on the label or at least use words like “natural flavor” or “natural truffle aroma” in the description. The trick is to read the label. If the ingredients don’t specifically say “truffles”, it’s likely fake news. Ladies, take note.

What is Real Truffle Oil?

Real truffle oil has a strong flavor and aroma because it is made from actual truffles. Unless you make it yourself, you have to read the label to separate the real from the fake. Read the ingredients. You’re looking to see that real truffles are a part of the oil you’re using. When in doubt, the fewer the ingredients and the easier the names are to pronounce, the more likely it is that you have the real deal in your hands. Fake truffle oil is just not cute. If you are looking to pick some up, check out this truffle oil. (Yes, it’s a splurge buy.)

Have a source for truffles or a few tips to share? Post them here in the comments section below!