A weekly series about our food and sustainable agriculture.
Jack Czarnecki explains the best way to enjoy the full taste of a truffle is by infusing truffle oil into a variety of foods (those with a higher fat content) like butter, cheese, and meats. Surprisingly by contrast, eating a fresh truffle will often be a tasteless experience except when during digestion the gases emitted in the stomach are brought back up through the process of burping.
Jack Czarnecki’s Oregon Truffle Oil is the only USDA certified, commercial truffle oil production operation in the country. While chef’s and even those at home can make their own truffle oil, there is as much a science behind it as there is an art. What distinguishes Czarnecki’s oil, not only has he figured out how to capture the 50 or so volatile organic compounds in his oils, he has also figured out how to extend the refrigerated shelf life of his products so that they remain fresh longer, and being commercially produced under sterile conditions, are free of bacterial contamination.
The roughly 50 unique volatile organic compounds that comprise the gases inside a truffle, and create their various flavor profiles, are the means by which the truffle insures its survival. Since the truffle grows beneath the surface of the ground, its spores must be dispersed through other means than wind and water. The gases are a strong attractant to squirrels who dig them up, consume the whole truffle, and later through excretion, redeposit the truffle spores in new areas.
The truffle is nature’s symphony; its siren call of evolutionary survival.