Why You Should Think Twice Before Buying Canned Truffles

For the home chefs out there, it can still be a bit tricky to source coveted fresh truffles in the U.S that are excellent for enhancing any basic dish. For example, it's no secret that settling for truffle oil instead of the real thing is likely going to leave you consuming fake truffle flavoring. And although there are the options to buy canned and frozen truffles, these really only work with certain dishes and may come at a cost, sacrificing the rich aroma and consistency that they are known for. 

Unfortunately, this is due to the preparation process the truffles undergo to become shelf stable. As a result, it diminishes their signature scent and negatively impacts their shaveable texture. This means that while canned or frozen truffles may work great stuffed inside a ravioli, they won't work as well sprinkled over your meat or seafood dishes. Here's what you need to know.

You have limits to what you can do with canned truffles

Truffles are known for their musky and earthy scent, but when they undergo the preservation process, they lose their strong aroma. The process is known as appertisation, a method that sterilizes the truffles using heat, which keeps them good for several years. Luckily, while their natural scent is diminished during this technique, they still maintain a complex taste that's worth incorporating into your meals — if you do it the right way. 

Aside from the taste, you'll also want to prepare the truffle to accommodate its new texture. Unless you've purchased pre-sliced truffles, you'll want to dry off the truffle first since it's been sitting in oil or brine. Then, slice it and sautée it. The canned truffle texture lends itself to making a great filling or as an ingredient in a blended dish, such as homemade truffle butter, a creamy sauce or soup, or stuffed inside ravioli. However you choose to use your canned truffles, make sure to use the ingredient in a way where its pungent goodness and softened texture can still shine through.