Originally posted by Bella Donna:
Besides my interest in experimenting with different EVOOs (I have a small collection in the kitchen), I have a new interest in truffle oil. I don't know much about truffle oil. But what sparked my interested in learning more is that on the bottles I bought, it says "infused with olive oil." How much of this bottle is truffle oil? 10%? 20%? 50%? I also haven't acquired the liking of truffle oil. Is there anything that I should start out with?
Truffles are fungi, just like mushrooms. They have absolutely NO oil in them.
Truffle oil is made when you either extract liquid from the truffles (mushrooms contain a lot of water) or chop up the truffles, or do both, and then infuse a good quality oil with the flavour of the truffle. You can make your own if you buy some very fresh black or white truffles, though the oils I've bought that have been commercially produced are pretty good. I made my own only one time and I'd rather use the truffle in a recipe than waste it on the oil in future.
Truffles are the earthiest of all the fungi in flavour, so I guess it's an acquired taste. I like the oil best when a small quantity is poured over mushroom risotto while it's still hot-- the aromatics take a big leap if it's good oil. And like other infused oils, the flavour doesn't last forever so it's a good idea to use it up fairly quickly and not let it sit in a cupboard for a year.