Truffle fries is a dish that has been getting a lot of attention over the past few years. Truffles used to be an exclusive food, only eaten by the super-rich and those lucky enough to find or grow them. Times have changed and truffle fries are quickly becoming one of the most popular foods of 2021. People are cooking them at home and they are appearing on menus from pubs and burger bars through to expensive restaurants. The popularity of truffle fries is yet another reason that the demand for truffles has exploded and will continue to rise.
In this article we will look at the story behind truffle fries, and an include easy-to-try recipe. Plus, find out why Gordon Ramsay has been criticizing certain truffle fries and how you can avoid making the same mistake.
When Were Truffle Fries Invented?
While truffles have been eaten for hundreds of years, the modern truffle fries with cheese are only around 25 years old. The inventor is said to be the chef of the Pamplemousse Grill in San Diego. The dish was an instant success and soon spread around the world. Today, you can find truffle fries wherever you go.
What Are Truffle Fries Made Of?
Truffle Fries are french fries combined with either truffle shavings or truffle oil. If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can find sweet potato truffle fries in some places. However, french fries is the classic and most common version. Truffle fries are typically seasoned with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Home Chefs will often bake the truffle fries instead of frying them. This is a good way to make the dish healthier, without sacrificing too much flavour.
Are Black Or White Truffles Better For Fries?
Chefs use both, depending on which will compliment the dish better. Black truffles have a richer flavour and go best alongside meat dishes and strong, hearty flavours. White truffles have a lighter and more subtle flavour. The taste may remind you of garlic or shallots. White truffle oil is the preferred option when truffle fries are being served as a stand alone dish. However, if you want to serve the truffle fries with steak, or a strong flavour, it is better to use black truffle oil.
What Do Truffle Fries Taste Like?
The fries should be crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Care must be taken to use the right ammount of salt, and not to use too much oil. The best truffle fries are served with cheese, parmesan being the premium option but mozarella and chedder are passable alternatives.
Having said that, you should make every effort to use parmesan. Nearly every recipe for truffle fries calls for parmesan, and for good reason. Parmesan adds a layer of flavour that turns that takes the dish to the next level. You can eat truffle fries without cheese, but it’s not quite the same.
Truffle fries have an earthy or musky flavour which comes from the truffles. Truffle fries using real truffles are sublime. However…
The majority of truffle fries today are made with a type of truffle oil that comes with a major caveat.
Why Do Chefs Hate Truffle Oil?
Most truffle oil that you buy from the shops has never seen an actual truffle. It’s simply olive oil with a chemical truffle flavouring added. Some people love this flavour, but for others, including Gordon Ramsay, it’s close to an abomination. Ramsay described chemical truffle oil as “the worst” and savagely criticised restaurants serving it.
Luckily you can buy authentic truffle oil, online from Amazon, and at specialist food stores. By authentic truffle oil we meantruffle oil that is made with actual truffles.
While top chefs might not like artificial truffle oil, they love truffles. Truffles are on the menu in restaurants across the world. These chefs know the importance of quality ingredients, which is why they tend to be so harsh on synthetic truffle oil.
Why Are Truffles So Expensive?
The reason truffles are so expensive comes down to supply and demand. Truffles have historically been very hard to grow and will only survive in particular climates. So there is a very limited supply. Thanks to the flavour and unique properties of truffles there is always a high demand.
The constant demand and high value of truffles have made them an excellent investment option. Investors looking to diversify always include forestry as part of their portfolio and truffle producing trees could soon be the number one option. This is because truffle producing trees offer a stronger ROI than traditional forestry as well as faster returns. Truffle producing trees start paying out in as little as 3 years, compared with 20-25 years on most timbers. We believe this makes truffle the number one forestry investment available today.
To find out more about why truffles are always in demand, and why they are such a great investment option, click here.
Why Are Some Truffle Oils So Much More Expensive Than Others?
The difference in price comes down to whether real or truffles, or artificial flavouring is being used. Real truffle oil costs at least twice as much as artificial oil. Expect to pay around $23 for 100ml of oil containing real truffles.It’s worth every penny. The flavour is natural, and free of any chemical aftertastes.
There’s another bonus, too. Truffle oils made using real truffles have a much stronger flavour. You only need to use a drop or two to add flavour to a dish. This means a small bottle of truffle oil actually provides excellent value and goes a long way.
Restaurant fries made with real truffles taste better, but also cost more, than the artificial alternatives.
Are Truffle Fries Vegan?
Most people agree that they are vegan. Truffles are a fungi and not a plant, but are still vegan-friendly. Most vegans will want to use vegan parmesan cheese as well. This is available in most supermarkets and can also be made at home.
One area of concern for vegans is that pigs and dogs are used to locate the truffles during the harvesting process. While these animals are usually very well treaded, some vegans might object to them being used for work.
Vegetarians can enjoy truffles without any problems.
Truffle Fries Recipe
Here’s a simple recipe that you can use to create a delicious snack or tasty side in less than 30 minutes. For convenience this recipe uses frozen french fries.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
225g frozen french fries
A few drops of truffle oil (ideally containing real truffles)
Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
A couple of pinches of sea salt
Parmesan cheese to taste
- Cook the french fries using the instructions from the packet. Air fry or oven cook to make this dish slightly healthier.
- Once the fries are cooked, transfer to a metal bowl and add the truffle oil and salt.
- Toss this mix together until fries are covered.
- Transfer to a serving plate and cover with Parmesan cheese.
As mentioned above, the natural truffle oil is much stronger than synthetic. Just a few drops will be enough to season the dish. If you find you need more it’s easy to add, but go a drop at a time. It really is incredibly strong oil.
Are Truffle Fries Here To Stay?
Truffles Fries are absolutely here for the long-run. The demand for truffles is blasting the roof, to the extent that supply is struggling to keep up. Luckily, Truffle Farms Europe was able to see this trend coming. We have planted more truffle producing trees than anyone else in Europe over the past few years. We have more on the way, too!
Covid 19 meant that lots of people were unable to get out to restaurants and bars on a regular basis. Lots of people learned to cook truffle fries as a quick and simple way to have tasty, gourmet food at home.