Have you been flummoxed by which truffle oil is best? Or even where to start looking? The Never Cook Naked guys have some answers—from buying from a trusted source to sampling anytime you can. Nothing worth it is ever easy or cheap, darlings.


Truffle Oil

Dear Never Cook Naked Guys: I couldn’t decide between white and black truffle oils at the store. The bottle of black truffle oil said it was milder, whereas the white said it was more robust. Which should I have bought?—Sparing No Expense

Dear Sparing: Neither. In fact, never trust advertising copy. Have you learned nothing from “Mad Men”?

Truffles are expensive. Ridiculously so. So it stands to reason that the oil would be, too. If you find the price on the bottle doesn’t make you gasp, take a moment to consider how that could be. As with most things in this life, you get what you pay for. So do a little research on some companies making honest-to-food-gods truffle oil, like the folks at Oregon Truffle Oil.

Very few truffle oils are made from truffles. Most are made from something the industry calls “truffle essence,” which can be little more than the water that truffles have sat in for an unspecified amount of time. It could also be made from a variety of unnaturally induced truffle extracts, some of which can bring a lovely chemical fandango to your meal, including various industrial solvents. Or it could be an outright chemical concoction that attempts to mimic said truffle essence.

If possible, sample a truffle oil before buying it. Many high-end markets have tasting events—plan on attending. Or scope out the truffle oils in your friends’ cabinets. You don’t have to poke around on the sly. Just try this as an entrée: “I was just telling So-And-So the other day that you’d probably never spring for a bottle of truffle oil.” Your friend will be forced to bring out the bottle and prove you wrong in order to not appear a cheapskate. Discreetly plop a drop in your palm and let it warm for a few seconds. Then slurp it and, if you’re impressed, whip out your iPhone and sneak a picture of the label.

For our money, black truffle oil has a muskier, though strangely more mellow taste, than white truffle oil, which seems a tad spikier and also more fragrant. Although we’d never trust ad copy that told us so.

Our very clever, very clothed Never Cook Naked columnists are at your disposal, able to troubleshoot everything from questionable table etiquette to tricky cooking techniques (as well as, natch, proper cooking attire). Ask us your question in a comment below!

Originally published March 4, 2020

About Bruce Weinstein | Mark Scarbrough

Bruce and Mark are award-winning, international best-selling cookbook authors with thirty-six published cookbooks and over 1,000,000 copies of their books in print. Bruce and Mark have published on topics as diverse as ice cream, ham, barbecue, goat, and vegetarian main courses. They are masters of the air fryer with The Essential Air Fryer Cookbook (2019), and The Instant Pot with The Instant Bible (2018) and The Instant Pot Bible: The Next Generation (2020).
Their You-Tube channel Cooking with Bruce and Mark offers hours of delicious fun and their podcast Cooking with Bruce and Mark reaches 10s of thousands with their culinary antics.
When they are not in the kitchen, Mark teaches lit classes and runs book groups throughout Litchfield County and online while Bruce teaches knitting and designs knitted patterns for both men and women. Find out more about what they’re up to at www.bruceandmark.com

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