We all know Martha Stewart as the ultimate icon for making the perfect home. Her empire is completely encircled by tips on homemaking (recipes, DIY, home décor tips, party planning, organization, and much more), making her a legend among homebodies everywhere. So there’s no surprise that she has strong opinions about particular methods of homemaking or specific ingredients she can’t stand. The one she hates most of all? Truffle oil.
Have you gone to a fancy restaurant lately and seen this ingredient in a delicious-sounding dish? Truffle macaroni and cheese, garlic truffle fries, or even soups and flatbreads? Sure, this seemingly expensive ingredient does make a meal as simple as macaroni and cheese feel top notch, but according to Martha, it’s all a sham.
In an interview with Today, Martha shares why she would never dabble with this “hideous” ingredient.
“It’s bad,” Martha said. “They’ve done many studies on truffle oil. It’s synthetic, it’s fake, it’s horrible. It clings to your taste buds, it’s a hideous thing. Forget truffle oil.”
So why is truffle oil so popular? Because truffles are. Truffles are known as a delicacy in food and are quite expensive to come by. This fungus is seriously packed with flavor and can be sold for up to $3,600 a pound. But truffle oil? That easily costs you between $16 to $40 a bottle, which is a significant difference in price compared to the real thing. So for restaurants looking to up their culinary game, adding some truffle oil and adding “truffle” to recipe names does give extra value to a menu.
So why is it called “truffle” oil then? Because the oil is infused with the aroma of white or black truffles. However, the reason for the significant price drop has to do with the fact that truffles aren’t actually used to make it. The aroma comes from a chemical compound that closely resembles white or black truffles, even though the bottle is marked as having “natural flavors.” No wonder Martha can’t stand it.
Martha isn’t the only one who truly wants to “forget truffle oil.” Anthony Bourdain, a popular American chef and TV personality, says truffle oil is “as edible as Astroglide and made from the same stuff.” Even Gordon Ramsey was staying clear of white truffle oil back in 2011, when he called it “one of the most pungent, ridiculous ingredients ever known to a chef.”
Next time you’re out to dinner and see “truffle” on the menu, and somehow the item doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars, you may just want to skip it. Because according to Martha Stewart and many other chefs, it’s not worth it.
Can’t afford to buy a dish with real truffles? That’s OK…who actually can, anyway? Let’s just make some mocha truffles instead.