Truffles are the gods' gift to umami. The taste of truffles makes food so savory that it is nearly irresistible. Truffles are also outrageously expensive. They can't be farmed because they only grow in very specific kinds of soil inside the roots of trees. So they must be harvested in the wild. Female pigs are often used to hunt for truffles because the truffle smells like androstenol, the sex pheromone of boar saliva, to which the sow is keenly attracted.
Truffles are the most expensive food in the world. European white truffles go for $3,600 a pound. Recently, a 2-pound truffle went for $300,000. Truffles are indeed rare and in incredibly high demand because of their ability to completely enhance the taste of food. I love truffles, but I'm not going to drop $3,600 a pound to have my food taste better. But I have found a nice little cache of products that keep me trufflin' everyday for not a lot of money.
Truffle sea salt is by far the most important weapon in my truffle armory. I use it all the time. It's ability to transform whatever food you put it on is extraordinary. French fries get taken to a whole new level. I buy my truffle salt from Amazon.com. This Gourmet Italian Truffle Fine Sea Salt is my favorite and a 4-ounce jar goes for $19.99.
Truffle oil is the second most important truffle item in my pantry. I do not cook with it, but use it as a finishing oil on roasted meats and in salad dressings. Becky uses it in lieu of olive oil and pairs it with truffle sea salt on her caprese salads...and they taste like no other caprese salad you have ever tasted. This Truffle Hunter White Truffle Oil sells for $14.99 (3.38 ounces) on Amazon.com.
Truff Hot Sauce is a brand new addition to my truffle favorites. The sauce has a sweet heat to it along with the pronounced flavor of black truffles. I have not found anything that is not improved with a few dabs of Truff on it. A 5.6-ounce bottle goes for $14.99 and is available at truffhotsauce.com.
Also a recent addition to my kitchen, Maille Black Truffle Mustard is astounding. (They've been making gourmet mustards for 270 years.) Becky and I had this on some brats I grilled up this week and we could not believe how this mustard just knocked the brats right out of the park. It's a French Dijon mustard made with Chablis wine from Burgundy and infused with black truffles from Provence. It's pricey, but worth it. A 4.4-ounce jar runs $43 and is available at us.maille.com. Yes, it's about $10 an ounce, but keep in mind that the truffles that went into this masterpiece cost $225 per ounce.