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Where to Buy Truffle Oil and the Debate About Real Truffle Oil

Truffle oil is available in most specialty gourmet food stores, many grocery stores, and online.  So really the question is not so much where to buy truffle oil, but which truffle to buy.  There are many types of  truffle oil on the market and not all truffle oil is equal.

View our selection of pure truffle oil.

Truffle oil, whether it is black truffle oil or white truffle oil is rarely made by actually infusing fresh truffles into the oil.  Although real truffle oil can be made at home by putting fresh truffle pieces in high quality olive oil, when truffle oil is made this way, it must be used within a few days.

Commercially produced truffle oil is made with natural or sometimes chemical flavoring which very closely matches the flavor of fresh truffles and lasts for a much longer time than truffle oil infused with real fresh truffles.  The truth is, it is very hard to produce real truffle oil from fresh truffles.  According to New York Times article about truffle oil, “The flavor of real truffles, especially black, is evanescent, difficult to capture in an oil under the best of circumstances.”

Some people object to the use of natural or chemical flavor, and seek a pure truffle oil that is made with real truffles.  To my knowledge, there is one company that produces such an oil – da Rosario Truffle Oil.  Rosario Safina, the founder of da Rosario, and former President of Urbani USA,  is one of the countries foremost truffle experts.  Da Rosario’s real truffle oil, truffle mayonaise and Acacia truffle honey, are 100% USDA organic.  The truffles used in the products are organic and the oil, butter, honey, and other ingredients are organic.

Other companies producing truffle oil defend their products, but remain secretive about the exact production methods.  According to New York Times’ article “Hocus-Pocus and a Breaker of Truffles“,  Federico Balestra at Sabatino Tartufi has said that its oil is now “100 percent organic,” made from dried truffles and other ingredients with flavors “similar to truffle.”   Vittorio Giordano of Urbani Tartufi called its manufacturing method, though conducted in a laboratory, a “natural process.”  He described the essence that his company uses as “something from the truffle that is not the truffle.” Plantin America states that no chemical flavoring is used in their black or white truffle oil, that the truffle flavor is totally natural.

To keep this in perspective, though truffle oil is not cheap, it could not possibly be sold for $2 – $9 per ounce if large amounts of real, top quality Alba white truffles and real Perigord black truffles were used to infuse the oil with truffle flavor.  The pricing of truffle oil is controversial.  People wonder, why is truffle oil expensive if it is not infused with real truffles?  Perhaps the answer is “because they can” combined with “truffle oil is produced in small amounts for a relatively small market, using high quality ingredients.  The process of creating it by nature is costly”.

Truffle oil of varying levels of quality is readily available.  Ultimately, one must find the truffle oil that best suits their personal taste, budget, and feelings about organic and natural versus chemical additives.  What is your favorite truffle oil?  Is it important to you to have real truffle oil or are you satisfied with a product which gives the truffle flavor you want, regardless of the origin of that flavoring?  We’d love to hear from you.

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