That’s what truffles mean to me.
Wait. Let’s get one thing straight, here. We’re talking about the fungus truffles, not the chocolate version, though, let’s be honest, I wouldn’t kick them out of bed for eating crackers, either.
Truffle is one of those flavors that really divides people; most folks I know either love it or hate it. It’s earthy, intense. It smells like bad socks, but in the best possible way. And they are very, very rare and expensive.
I’m unsure if the truffle’s hype is partly because of that…. because, as human beings, we tend to romanticise anything that is rare and expensive. Maybe.
Scientists have discovered that the truffle smell and taste comes from a molecule called androstenone (source: The Sporkful). Turns out this molecule is also found in human sweat and urine. I’ll not comment on that. You can read into it what you will.
However you slice it (very, very thin, in the case of truffles), truffles are sought-after and decadent.
It’s difficult to get truffles here in North America. You may pay through the nose for a few shavings over your pasta at a fine-dining restaurant, but for the rest of us, we get our fix through truffle-infused oils and salts.
I have a box of the Amola Truffle Salt I’ve been rationing out on my eggs, popcorn and pasta for the last year or two, but I recently also acquired a bottle of white truffle oil.
I was recently traveling in the Okanagan. Let’s just say with the book, teaching, The Wellness Show, etc, things have been a little stressful in my life. So I took a few days off for R&R. That involved lots of wine tasting, good food, and foodie adventures, including locally-made cheeses. And then we stumbled over this place in Pentiction called Olivia’s Oils and Vinegars.
Olivia’s is a bulk oil- and vinegar-store. There are a few of them in BC, all independently-owned (I’ve put together a list at the end of this post), and whenever I find one, I’m like a kid in a candy store. I go around and taste everything, try different combinations, and generally spend a lot of time and a lot of money.
One of the oils I came home with was the white truffle olive oil. White truffles, as it turns out, are even more rare than black truffles, and I know I probably shouldn’t waste this expensive product on something so plebeian as popcorn, but there’s a kind of poetry to it, y’know? Taking something so common and every-day, and dressing it up in finery.
Plus, y’know. Truffles.
So, here you go. A little something to fancy up your Friday night. Even if you eat it in your PJs while watching something trashy on Netflix. Everyday decadence.
Rosemary Truffle Popcorn
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tbsp butter, butter substitute or butter-flavored olive oil (Olivia’s sells that, too)
- 2 tbsp truffle-infused olive oil
- 1/2 tsp truffle salt
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- In a small saucepan, place the butter (whichever version you are using) and the truffle oil, as well as the sprig of rosemary. Heat gently, just until warmed, don’t allow it to boil. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Discard the rosemary.
- Pop popcorn using whatever method you like. I like to do mine in a brown paper bag in the microwave.
- Pour popped popcorn into a large bowl and drizzle over the butter/truffle oil. Sprinkle with truffle salt, toss, and shove into your face in large handfuls.
Where to find Oil- and Vinegar- Dispensaries in BC
(please comment below any I’ve missed)
Vancouver: Vancouver Olive Oil Company, 2571 W Broadway
Victoria: Olive the Senses, 9–1701 Douglas St
Gibsons: Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co, 305 – 287 Gower Point Rd.
Okanagan: Olivia’s Oils & Vinegars, Kelowna – Orchard Park Mall & Guisachan Village, Penticton – Riverside Drive