Have we hit TRUFFLE OVERLOAD? It’s in everything from Marmite to pesto… SUDI PIGOTT uncovers what is worth snaffling
- Truffle flavour is a misleading way of saying it’s lab-created rather than real
- Sudi Pigott has analysed the truffle products to uncover the best of the best
- UK-based writer says truffle marmite and truffle honey are some of the best
Rising prices may be the flavour of the month, but we all need little treats to feel indulged and bring a taste of luxury to everyday dishes.
Step forward the truffle, once the preserve of the super-wealthy, now available to us all, thanks to a deluge of truffle-enriched products hitting the shelves this summer.
Not all truffle products are created equal, however. Some list among their ingredients ‘truffle flavour’, which is a polite, if misleading, way of saying it’s a lab-created concoction rather than the real thing. Having said that, even faux truffle can add a powerful and pungent punch of umami.
Intrigued? We’ve sniffed out the best of the bunch…
Sudi Pigott has analysed the truffle products to uncover the best of the best. The UK-based writer says truffle marmite and truffle honey are some of the best
MARMITE THAT’S EVEN MORE MOREISH
Truffle Marmite (£4.50, exclusively at Sainsbury’s)
Launched at the beginning of the month, this new addition to Marmite’s range, like the original, is sure to divide opinion.
On opening the jar, you can smell truffle straight away. It’s robustly flavoured, with no pretence of being anything other than an excellent truffle flavour made in a lab.
I predict it will be curiously and hopelessly addictive for Marmite lovers, with endless possibilities beyond breakfast. The jar looks posh on the table, too.
GOOD FOR: Toast, hot buttered crumpets, cheese scones, stirred into scrambled eggs, or slathered on roasted potatoes. Nigella’s infamous Marmite spaghetti is made even more decadent with a splodge of this.
VERDICT: I found myself dipping breadsticks straight into the jar. I couldn’t leave it alone. 5/5
POSH UP YOUR TOMATO KETCHUP
Truffle Ketchup (£8.76, trufflehunter.co.uk)
Truffle Ketchup (£8.76, trufflehunter.co.uk). Sudi says that this is great for your bacon sandwich as it gives a well-balanced flavour hit
A bestseller in this brand’s truffleinfused condiment range, this ketchup gives a well-balanced flavour hit.
GOOD FOR: Taking your bacon sarnie up a notch. Or add to mayo for a very special prawn cocktail.
VERDICT: Ideal for impressing competitive barbecue neighbours, especially when proffered with the brand’s black truffle barbecue sauce (£10.16). 4/5
DIJON PRADA FOR THE LARDER
White Truffle Dijon Mustard (£5.95, parsonsnose.co.uk)
White Truffle Dijon Mustard (£5.95, parsonsnose.co.uk). Sudi describes this a rather sophisticated and relatively inexpensive indulgence
This is a cut above other truffle mustards because it’s made with genuine Dijon and rarer, pricier, white truffle. A difference your more discerning guests will appreciate.
GOOD FOR: Delightfully enhances grilled steaks or lamb and is particularly divine on a ham sandwich. It would make a fine French dressing, too.
VERDICT: A rather sophisticated and relatively inexpensive indulgence. Enjoy. 5/5
PRIMO PESTO TO UPGRADE PASTA
Artichoke & Truffle Pesto (£3.20, sainsburys.co.uk)
Artichoke & Truffle Pesto (£3.20, sainsburys.co.uk). This is good for everyday pasta or mac and cheese
Belazu, the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ingredients specialist, has added a truffle pesto adroitly mixed with artichoke to its range.
The vegetable’s earthy flavour complements truffle admirably to pack a hefty punch.
GOOD FOR: An instant transformation of everyday pasta or mac and cheese. Belazu suggests mixing it with breadcrumbs as a stuffing for field mushrooms or chicken, spreading on toast and topping with prosciutto and walnuts, stirring into mashed potato or adding to grilled asparagus with a poached egg.
Mix a dollop into creme fraiche to make a dip for last-minute entertaining, too.
VERDICT: A versatile and tasty product. Makes a great addition to the kitchen cupboard. 4.5/5
A SWEET DELIGHT PAIRED WITH CHEESE
Truffle Honey (£14.95, fortnumandmason.com)
Truffle Honey (£14.95, fortnumandmason.com). Sudi says that this elevates any cheese board. In particular it pairs well with ricotta and gorgonzola
This deeply mellow Balkan honey with a slice of black truffle has a lingering richness. It comes in a squeezy bottle.
GOOD FOR: Elevating a cheese board — it pairs particularly well with ricotta, gorgonzola and lifts a baked goat’s cheese salad. Its savoury richness means it’s also sublime as a glaze on meats or drizzled on a salad of fennel, orange and almonds.
VERDICT: This stands up so much better to the intense aroma of truffle than the more delicate acacia honey used by other brands. The fact you can see the sliver of dried black truffle inside is also very appealing. Would make a great foodie gift. 5/5
…BUT OVERPOWERING IN SMOKED SALMON
Truffle Smoked Salmon (£6, 100g, waitrose.com)
Truffle Smoked Salmon (£6, 100g, waitrose.com). For Sudi this didn’t work as the truffle flavour masked the taste or smoked salmon
The Italians are fond of truffle prosciutto and the French put truffle in cheese. Not to be outdone, we Brits are now adding it to Scottish smoked salmon.
GOOD FOR: A show-off smoked salmon bagel at a picnic, or adding to scrambled egg.
VERDICT: This just didn’t work — I found the truffle flavour completely masked the taste of smoked salmon. 2/5
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