You have most likely heard the name ‘truffle’ being used with fancy restaurants and expensive food.
If you didn’t know, truffles are famous for their intense aroma; this smell is described as garlicky with a musky aroma.
Unfortunately, truffles lose this wonderful smell only days after being picked.
If you can’t find fresh truffles for your food, it won’t have that unique flavor.
Truffles are also extremely hard to grow and hard to find in the wild.
These factors all make truffles incredibly rare and expensive.
Truffle oil is one way to experience the taste for yourself, but unfortunately, most truffle oils do not contain actual truffle.
In this article, we are giving you the best substitutes for truffle oil in your cooking.
What is Truffle Oil?
Truffle oil is originally made from grating truffles into olive oil.
This imparts the flavor of truffles into the oil, fixing it a strong fragrance.
This oil is then drizzled over food, giving it the strong flavor of truffle.
This oil is best used as finishing oil; this means that you would use the oil as a garnish to top off the dish’s flavor.
Because truffle oil has such a strong taste, it is best not to use it for cooking.
Many dishes can benefit from using truffle oil as a garnish.
Pizzas, pasta and eggs are traditional uses, and the oil makes them more savory.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Truffle Oil
However, most truffle oils sold do not contain any actual truffle.
Manufacturers use chemicals like dimethylsulfide to reproduce the smell and flavor of truffles.
Here are some more natural alternatives.
1 – Truffles
Nothing can match the flavor and aroma of real truffles.
If you have access to fresh truffles, or the money to buy them, that is much better than the oil.
Truffles are also linked to several health benefits, like reducing inflammation.
Truffles are a fungus that grow underground instead of in the open like mushrooms.
Today, truffles from Italy and France are most famous, and some other countries grow them in small amounts.
To use truffles in your food, you can grate them over the top as a finishing or slice them into the dish.
- 1 tsp truffle oil= 1 tsp truffle shavings.
2 – Truffle Salt
This is the best substitute for truffle oil for most people.
Actual truffles are expensive and hard to come by, but truffle salt is cheaper and more available.
Truffle salt is high-quality sea salt mixed with small pieces of minced truffle.
Because actual truffle pieces are used, you will get the real taste in your food.
You can use it like any other salt or spice, but be sparing with it.
Sprinkle it on top of meat for seasoning, or put a pinch in your pot as you are cooking.
Truffle salt cannot be used in the same amount as truffle oil, so you will have to use your judgment to decide how much to put.
- 1tsp truffle oil= 1 pinch truffle salt.
3 – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is the most accessible substitute for truffle oil.
Regular olive oil has a somewhat bland taste compared to truffle oil, but extra virgin olive oil has a much better flavor.
Extra virgin olive oil is made from the first cold pressing of the olives and has a very low acidity rate.
You should not use extra virgin olive oil as cooking oil because it will lose flavor in the heat.
Use this oil as a garnish for salads or as a top-off on your dishes.
- 1tsp truffle oil= 1 tsp olive oil.
4 – Mushroom Oil
One way to get a similar flavor to truffle oil is to use porcini mushroom oil.
This will give you a comparable taste and texture to truffle oil while being more natural.
Porcini mushroom oil is made from olive oil and porcini mushroom extract.
Another option is to make your own mushroom oil.
This is relatively easy to do, and you can experiment with your own combination of mushrooms and spices.
All you have to do is chop your ingredients up and cook them in olive oil, then set it aside for a few days.
- 1tsp truffle oil= 1 tsp mushroom oil.
5 – Worcestershire Sauce
This may be a surprise addition to this list, but Worcestershire sauce is a very common barbecue sauce and condiment that you can easily get.
This sauce was developed back in the 1830s in England and has since become popular worldwide.
Worcestershire sauce has that flavor called umami, which we discovered to be the 5th basic taste.
You can think of umami as the savory or meaty taste.
Truffle has the umami taste, and Worcestershire sauce also has the same desired flavor.
This sauce gets its flavor from fermented anchovies, garlic, tamarind and many other spices.
You can use it as it is or mix it with olive oil and mushrooms to get closer to the truffle taste.
- 1tsp truffle oil= 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce.
Truffle is a highly desired ingredient that many have tried and failed to imitate.
Nothing can copy the taste of fresh truffle, but there are some ways to get to a similar flavor.
If you can get your hands on authentic truffle oil, that will serve you best, but most truffle oil sold is fake.
With the options on this list, you can find a suitable replacement to get your dish closer to that savory flavor.