Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Truffle Oil Kerfuffle

This writing business has some interesting pitfalls, not unlike hiking down a woodsy trail in Forest Park and suddenly finding yourself sprawled on your face in the dirt, the innocent victim of a vicious tree root or malevolent stone. But since it's a little too easy to forget that you were distracted by the light coming through the trees or a flicker exploding from some nearby brush, you kind of have to 'fess up to not paying enough attention.

Which is kind of what happened when I interviewed Jeff Roberts and related his contention that the tartufo bufala in a pizza at Nostrana contained truffle oil, a synthetic flavoring agent. Rather than simply asking the waiter or, better yet, calling the restaurant the next day, even though the assertion felt a little odd considering Nostrana's penchant for keeping it real, I blithely wrote it up and sent it in.

Understandably, this didn't set very well with the folks at the restaurant, and resulted in a call to the editor to let her know that their tartufo bufala has little pieces of real truffle in it and absolutely no truffle oil. So my editor composed a correction and, using the opportunity to make it a "teachable moment," asked me to write an article on truffle oil. (To this my witty husband responded, "How many times do you have to write it?")

So now you can read "A Kerfuffle Over Truffle Oil" and decide for yourself what to do the next time you see truffle sauce advertised on the menu. Or if you really want to use that bottle that's sitting nonchalantly in your cupboard.


bb said...

Oh, I'll still use that bottle sitting on my shelf. It still tastes pretty freaking good on a wild mushroom risotto. Especially since my financial adviser had me hold off on putting my retirement into white truffle futures!
And I've tripped on thats ame root, too!
Thanks for sharing the info, and so humbly, too!

Kathleen Bauer said...

Seems like that root is always out there waiting for us. I just need to pay more attention to that gut feeling!

And as far as using the truffle oil, just a teeny bit goes a long way...as Ms. Whims put it, you don't want to overwhelm the flavor of the real thing with the fake thing.

Loo said...

Frankly I think the opportunity to use the word kerfluffle so winningly makes the faux pas worth all the scuffle.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Credit where credit is due: It was the Oregonian who threw that one in the headline, though I had thought of using it in the opening paragraph!