Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fake truffle oil

I found a recent New York Times article on fake truffle oil very enlightening. I truly had no idea that truffle oil was not made from truffles. I'm sure that many restaurants are abusing it, but one of the worst offenders surely must be Hell's Kitchen's Roberto Passon.

Although, if I have to admit it, I'd say that the truffle oil does add an interesting flavor to a dish. I've never been to France or Italy, so I've never had a truly fresh truffle to compare it to. A previous article I've read claimed that the furious competition for truffles has led to premature harvesting of truffles, with the end result being that even fresh truffles in France or Italy aren't what they used to be. Really, it's better to do without an ingredient than to have to fake it. I think the NY food scene can survive a lack of truffles. I think our cuisine can only improve by relying on native ingredients. Our high end restaurants should be serving huitlacoche, not truffles.