What Does Truffle Taste Like? (Is It Good?)

Have you heard about truffles but have never tried them?  Don’t worry you are not alone.  We are here to tell you that truffles can be some of the most intoxicating and highly regarded flavors for those who have tried them.   Most commonly used in Italian foods like pizza and pasta they are also used in a lot of different Mediterranean dishes as well. 

So, what do truffles taste like?  To start a truffle has a musky, earthiness with a meaty gamy flavor that can be found in certain mushrooms.  They are also nutty, earthy, oaky with a hint of sweetness.  Flavors and factors that influence the taste of truffles will be determined by the roots of the trees they grow from, the soils they grow in, and what season they are harvested in.  Even the same species of truffles can have a different taste depending on what part of the world they were grown in.

What our in-depth research has shown truffles may taste like:

  • Nutty
  • Oaky
  • Earthy
  • Musky
  • Sweet
  • Savory
  • Garlic-like

About This Article

What exactly are truffles?

Let’s start off by saying you shouldn’t be confused by the small chocolates you can get quite easily.  The truffles we are referring to are the subterranean fungi that are grown near the roots of certain types of trees. 

Most of the truffles come from places like Italy, France, North Africa, China, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

Unlike mushrooms that grow above ground.  Truffles grow on tree roots roughly 8 centimeters underground.   Finding them is a major challenge and often trained dogs or even pigs are used to sniff them out. 

They don’t look like mushrooms either.  They have no gills or stalks like a mushroom but instead are round and firm with bumps on the outside layer and can vary in size.

what types of truffles are there?

truffle taste

You will find that there are a lot of different types of truffles around the work in terms of species almost 100 different kinds.  But when it comes to eating them there are only a hand full that get consumed.   Below are the most common truffles you would consume.

White Truffles

The white truffle is more common in Italy and in-fact you could say they are blessed with an abundance of these types of truffles.   They are harvest from the months of October to December in the winter.

Black Truffles

Black truffles typically come from France in the central and southeastern parts.  But they also can be found and grow in portions of Australia, North America, Italy, Spain, and New Zealand.

Why do truffles taste so good?

One thing we learned when describing the taste of something is that not everyone is going to have the same thoughts about taste even if you cut it from the same fruit or vegetable.  Some people will absolutely love the taste of truffles while others will not be able to get past the intense smell to even try it.

We get the questions often on why truffles taste so good and we are entirely sure why something is unbelievable while others shrug it off like no big deal.  You will have to try it to see if you think it tastes great. 

What does truffle oil taste like?

You might have seen truffle oil at a specialty shop and thought I wonder what that tastes like.  Good quality truffle oil when used lightly on dishes adds an excellent flavor and aroma. 

The white truffle oil is more common than others but it does come with a shorter life span on the shelf.  If used past the expiration date it can ruin your dish. 

When the oil is not expired and fresh it can give an earthy, mushroom smell that makes you want to dig in and eat. 

When using truffle oil it is important to use it sparingly by using just a small drizzle onto risottos. pasta, french fries, and other dishes.

We recommend TruffleHunter White Truffle oil.  You can find this on Amazon.com.

What does truffle butter taste like?

Truffle butter has been a staple in our home for a long time.  Truffle butter is butter that has been enriched with either a white or black variety of truffles.

Truffle butter can be used to kick up dishes like mashed potatoes, eggs, soups, vegetables, fish, and meats

Truffle butter has an earthy and creamy taste with a slight mushroom resemblance.  When it is made with White truffles you will get a more nutty or woody taste.

Finding truffle butter shouldn’t be too difficult and can be found at most specialty food markets.  The Savini Tartufi is a product that can be purchased on Amazon.com.  This product is in a jar and does not need to be refrigerated until you open it.

What does truffle smell like?

The smell of truffles attracts all different reactions.  In fact, the smell of truffles can attract anything from squirrels to pigs and dogs.  Truffles contain androstenol which is a male pig hormone.  This makes the female pig something we use to locate truffles under the ground.

It is hard to describe the smell of a truffle but they have an earthy, garlicky, and a hint of a sweet smell to it.  

Why are truffles so expensive?

For one, truffles are very difficult to find and grow mostly in European regions.   Add in that they take years to grow underground until they can be used makes these little treats very expensive.  These types of foods can not be grown quickly or easily.

Unlike mushrooms that we can grow just about anywhere and bring to market anytime, we need them we cannot do this with truffles.  Because of this, the price goes way up.  

Nutrition value of truffles

Below is the nutrition value of a truffle.  Did you know that truffles are high in antioxidants, antibacterial properties, and help reduce inflammation.  

Truffles are low in fat and have no cholesterol.

Based on one piece per amount or 4.5 g

  • Calories: 13
  • Total Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Potassium: 34 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 3 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3.2 g
  • Protein: 0.4 g
  • Vitamin A: 0%
  • Calcium: 1%

What are some foods that when truffles are added taste great?

When truffles are added to certain foods it really kicks up the taste.  If truffles are sliced, or in an oil or butter form these foods that get truffle added to them is awesome.

  • Pizza
  • Pasta
  • Eggs
  • Potatoes
  • French fries
  • Soup

What to look and smell for in a truffle

Like a lot of different foods, especially fruits you want to give a truffle a slight squeeze.  It should not be rock hard but give just a little.  If you come across a truffle in your journeys and you feel a truffle it should also not be really mushy or soft.  If so, leave it alone.  

As far as smell goes do not get turned off by a strong smell.  You are dealing with a fungus when we are talking about truffles so a strong smell of the earth is normal. 

Final Thoughts on Truffle Taste

Truffles have a flavor and taste that should certainly be explored, especially for those who have not tried it yet.  We recommend a high-quality oil to start and lightly drizzle your pasta, or pizza with it.    If you rather go to a restaurant that uses truffles then by all means do so. 

We know you will not be disappointed when trying the taste of truffles.  If you can find truffles when they are harvest and use them in pasta, eggs, and over potatoes is also a wonderful experience. 

One piece of advice we can give is less is more when dealing with truffles and your food.  When you use truffle oil just drizzle a little over your pasta, pizza, or eggs. 

Once you try truffles and someone asks you what does truffle taste like?  You can let them know.

5/5 (1 Review)
About ASmith

Adam loves cooking and cooking products like cookware, tools, gadgets, and more to help make cooking easier in the kitchen. When Adam is not trying out new kitchen tools in the kitchen you find him researching the next best kitchen gadgets.