Friday, March 5, 2010

Truffle oil? No such thing.

I am reading a book called "The Secret Chef" (Den hemlige kocken) by Mats-Eric Nilsson.The book has not yet been translated into English.

What we think is balsamic vinegar, in fact is, ordinary wine vinegar blended with grape juice and brown caramel color. That would be Aceto balsamico di Modena. The real deal is called Aceto balsamico Tradizionale delicious and very expensive.

Truffle Oil, a popular oil added to a lot of dishes in many homes, is not truffle oil. You can not produce truffle oil at all. The only thing that would happen if you put truffles in oil is they would eventually rot. This is because the truffle does not contain essential oils which can be extracted. Thus, it is impossible to produce truffle oil. Truffle oil is an oil with chemically produced aromas which mimic the taste and smell of truffles.

Zeta, a major oil manufacturer writes on their product page: 

"Olive oil flavored with truffle aroma. Like all the best truffle oils it gets its flavor from thoroughly tested aromas. The white truffle aromas are volatile and difficult to resolve in oil."
In plain English? Chemists made flavors which taste and smell like truffles, but is everything but truffles.

The Secret Chef is an incredible eye opener. Japanese researchers have found a way to extract vanillin (one of the ingredients of real vanilla, but far what gives vanilla its characteristic flavor) from cow dung. The cow dung vanillin is supposed to go into production sometime this year. It will probably not be used for food production since you have to state the source of origin with food, but it will be used for perfumes and skincare products.

Smoked ham of lesser quality is not smoked at all.  It has never been near smoke. It gets its smokey taste from smoke aroma. The world leader in smoke aromas is Red Arrow.


  1. Sad but of course absolutely spot on. What is amazing, is that Truffle Oil is labelled in such a way that people think they are buying the real thing !

  2. The politicians are chosen by the people for the people or perhaps their wallet.

    You can´t blame greed, but you can blame those who are supposed to protect us from raging greed.

    In Food Inc. they say: Every time you go to the shop you vote. True.

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