Black vs white truffle oil, which is better?
In the beginning, the world has always been two sides. Are you good or bad? Are you right or wrong? Do you go left or right? Do you like black or white? Always a permanent question on whether what side you are on because you can’t be stuck in between. Simply no grey areas. All this drama for what?
Funny thing is, we can draw one of the most quizzical discussions around the world begging for us to choose a side, black or white. It’s none other than the elusive and the coveted truffle of the culinary world. Yes, you heard it right folks, the truffle or more precisely the discussion on are you a black or white truffle oil concessionaire.
Hustle for the Truffle
The elusive truffle is a fungus just like mushrooms. It is an episode and coveted as it grows underground or beneath the big roots of some trees with a specific soil PH balance and is hard to find. But when the spores of a truffle reach a ripe and mature age they release this certain aroma that animals, especially in the wild, can easily recognize.
Usually, when the intrigued animals dig up the truffles they hit the spores and it consequently disperses the spores even more so. You’d think, surely dogs are the best for this job but you’d be surprised to know that it’s actually the wild pigs that can undoubtedly sniff out these truffles. So it’s better to bring “babe the pig” along rather than “lassy the beloved dog”, if your out hunting for truffles.
Truffles are so hard to find that some people pay a hefty price just to get their hands on any fresh and available batch especially those who have never had truffles before. However, not everyone will sell you genuine truffles but if you do get lucky and obtain a batch for yourself you might be a little disappointed because it might just be another earthy tasting herb or fungus. But it’s the aroma that has everyone gushing over this fungus.
The aroma from a mature truffle is like that of a pheromone produced to attract mates. That’s why when some people get a whiff of this aroma at its prime they feel a certain kind of high, an aphrodisiac high we might as well add. But then again the gas disperses four days after the truffle has matured therefore the fresher the batch the higher the price. Though truffles that have gone beyond the prime of their aroma that is still in the market can still fetch a handsome price. The trick of the trade is to go buy your truffles where you can smell and see them before actually paying for them. Sounds fair enough right.
Black or White
Life is a chain of choices, in every nook and corner we are faced with what to choose like what to wear, where to go and what to eat. Same goes with chefs, kitchen enthusiasts, and home cooks, they always have to make a choice particularly with what kind of oil to finish their dishes. Do they go black or white?
Tuber melanosporum and the Black Truffle Oil
Tuber melanosporum or much commonly known as Black Truffles is the main component of the so called Black Truffle Oil. They actually are French in nature because Black Truffles are mainly grown in the culinary capital of the world, France. That is why alongside White Truffles they both hold onto a pedestal like the reputation of being flavorful and otherworldly.
Black Truffles are usually abundant around the cold months of December up to February hence others have named them Black Winter Truffles. This initially gives us an idea that way back in the old days, chefs would have a limited time to prepare their own Black Truffle Oil. Since way back in the days before everything was commercialized, chefs had to prepare a batch of Truffle Oil on their own whether white or black. Though unlike White Truffles, Black Truffles are less expensive in which case so is the Black Truffle Oil depending on what brand and where you buy it. The Black Truffle is also less flavorful than that of the White because with Black Truffles you still need to use a little heat to bring out its innermost flavor, unlike White Truffles that are preferred to be used raw.
Tuber magnatum and the White Truffle Oil
White Truffle with its scientific name Tuber magnatum is tagged with the infamous White Truffle Oil which is high grade olive oil infused with white truffles to try and capture that aromatic earthy aphrodisiac scent of truffles that have culinary world begging for more. It is actually abundant in the Piedmont region of Italy. White Truffles’ season or when it is most abundant whether cultivated or in the wild is from the month of September to December with its peak during the month of October and November.
White Truffles are more expensive per ounce compared to Black Truffles because they are harder to find therefore consequently so is the White Truffle Oil compared to Black Truffle Oil, again depending on the brand and where you’re buying. White Truffles are more aromatic and pact more flavor. That is why more often than not they are shaved raw on top of some dishes in fine dining restaurants which gives us a feeling that the same goes with White Truffle Oil.
However we look at things, everything will always be black or white, depending on what sets your palettes afire with passion you can use either Black or White Truffle Oil. Be wary though because with the advancement of technology some truffle oils sold around the world are already manufactured. And they do not use real and natural truffles instead they use chemicals that can mimic the pheromone-like aroma of natural truffles unlike the old ways to prepare Truffle oil where they use olive oil and soak in bits and pieces of Black and White Truffles.