Truffle Oil Apothecary  — This is how the Tuscan farmer produces truffle oil for himself

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At our Tuscan-vineyard home in Chianti last week I learned how the local farmers/apothecaries transfer olive oil by magic into truffle oil for their own use.  It was for me a most improbable lesson, notwithstanding my fearless cooking instincts.  I was given some recently unearthed black truffles to take home precisely to carry out the lesson. And here is the “work in progress”:  1. Fill a ceramic bowl with olive oil; 2. Place fresh truffles in an open container positioned in the oil; 3. Do not allow the truffles to come into contact with the oil; 4. Cover the bowl and allow the magical and mysterious process of transformation (yes, it’s alchemy) to occur.  In this process, the oil absorbs the powerful truffle flavor.  After about one week you can eat the truffle and the oil can be used.  Seal the oil in a glass bottle.  The flavor diminishes quickly  

Many years ago I bought truffles from a farmer in Umbria.  I asked him if I could preserve the truffles in olive oil and he told me this: “if you put the truffles in olive oil you will quickly ruin the oil and the truffles.”  He said no more.  you may know that most commercial truffle oil products are produced in a laboratory and contain no truffles at all. This (above) is the way truffle oil is made on the farm.  Easy enough, but you have to find the truffles.  Good luck. Let me know!  Jim 

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