Before we got our shiny new website, we had a wonderful discussion about truffle oil and other flavored olive oils on gustiamo.com entilted “Why We Don’t Sell Flavored Olive Oils.” Long before I was part of team Gustiamo, I used to refer to this short article. I found it to be really concise, and useful in navigating the confusing world of flavored oil. Therefore, I wanted to publish it again on our new and improved GustiBlog! Without further ado, here it is:
“Gustiamo choses not to carry flavored olive oils, and in particular truffle flavored olive oils, despite the many inquiries of our friends and customers; as well as despite flavored oils increasing popularity in America. We only sell the best Italian extra virgin olive oils, we painstakingly research our extra virgin olive oil producers, meet them in person, and make sure every step of their production can be accounted for. Regional characteristics, climate, olive varieties, and methods of production impart subtle differences to each of the oils we choose and we are extremely picky in our selection. We are very proud of our choices. We don’t carry flavored olive oils, and in particular truffle olive oils because we always felt that we shouldn’t compromise the excellent quality of our oils with eccentric distractions. We have done enough research about truffle olive oils to assure you that there’s nothing natural about them.
Truffle olive oil is produced by adding a chemical essence (like “Bis(methylthio)methane,” yes, that is actually its name) which smells and taste like truffle, usually to cover the taste of a mediocre olive oil. For a merchant, it is hard to resist the temptation of selling a product with such high profit margins and market demand. Be aware what else that merchant might try and sell you, besides truffle olive oil…Regarding other flavored oils (basil, lemon, rosemary etc.), if you wish to follow the trend and are still inclined to experiment with flavored oils, how hard can it be to add a sprig of rosemary to your good bottle of olive oil?”
Gustiamo is not the only group enlightened on the flavored oil issue. Here are some of my other favorite rants on the subject: Daniel Patterson in the NYTimes and J. Kenji López-Alt in Eater. Lastly, here is your Moment of Zen, Gordon Ramsay laying the truffle oil smack-down in this video below, his exact words: “White Truffle oil, one of the most pungent, ridiculous ingredients ever known to chefs.” Evviva!