Wikimedia Commons/ McDonald's
This year one of the Lay’s Do Us a Flavor finalists was West Coast truffle fries. McDonald’s just introduced truffle fries to its menu in Singapore, and Panera now has truffle-flavored soup (which they claim is made with pieces of real truffle). Truffle-flavored everything has been a trend for a while and now it has leaked into the world of pre-packaged and fast foods.
As always, most truffle-flavored menu items do not actually contain truffles, but are made with truffle oil, a synthetic chemical flavoring that smells like truffles, mixed with olive or sunflower oil. Truffle oil is a trend that many professional chefs have spoken out against, and that The Daily Meal has strongly condemned.To be fair, the new truffle fries that were just announced by McDonald’s do not actually have truffle or truffle oil in them: The regular fries just come with a packet of truffle-flavored dried seasoning.
How can you tell if you’re just having a truffle-flavored or scented fungi imposter or the real thing? Check out the prices. Chances are McDonald’s, Panera, and Lay’s will not be shaving actual truffles over their dishes. Real truffle is much more premium: Black truffles usually cost hundreds of dollars, while white truffles can cost upwards of $6,000 per pound. So you can bet if you’re sitting down at Thomas Keller’s annual truffle dinner, for instance, you’ll be getting the real deal.