In partnership with Truff.
There are few flavors more delicious than truffle. I'm no radical for saying it – for almost a decade now, truffle fries, mashed potatoes, and mac n' cheese have swept across our nation's menus. The hype is real, but as with all trends, most of the imitators stray far from the real thing.
Even as a huge truffle fan, I rarely order these dishes anymore: too often they've got that greasy, highly synthetic taste. Well-made truffle oil has about as much in common with that as sweet cream butter has with the liquid stuff you find in a movie theater. More than that, though, most truffle-infused dishes just pile fat on fat, with no acidity to cut through that rich, heady flavor.
Which is where Truff comes in. Originally launched as a truffle-based hot sauce, Truff is a flavor bomb that still understands the importance of balance. With the heat of chili peppers, the sweetness of organic agave, and the unmistakable umami of black and white truffles, Truff positions itself as a go-to condiment for just about everything.
While this immediately sounded extremely up my alley, as I mentioned above, I've been burned in the past. Would a bottled hot sauce really highlight the best that truffles have to offer? I had to do my research.
FROM INSTAGRAM TO IN THE CART
If popularity is a good indicator, then Truff certainly has my attention. Launched in 2017 by Nick Ajluni and Nick Guillen (originally of the @sauce Instagram account fame), the original hot sauce appeared on Oprah's Favorite Things, Good Morning America and The View within its first year. It’s now the best-selling hot sauce in Whole Foods, with as many as 10 million bottles sold since launch, and a rapidly expanding product line that now includes truffle mayo and pasta sauce.
The past few years have seen even more astronomical growth – with so many of us at home for 2020 and 2021, Truff's punchy flavors became a go-to for spicing up the weekly meal rotation. Whole online communities have sprung up around it, including the "Truff VIP" Facebook group where customers show off their wildest creations.
It’s clear that Truff is doing something right. Whatever my past aversions, who was I to dismiss Oprah? Cautiously optimistic, I headed to Truff's site, where I hemmed and hawed between options, ultimately landing on the Best Seller Pack ($74.99). The spread of black truffle hot sauce, white truffle hot sauce, and decadent truffle oil felt like it covered all the bases.
And once that order arrived, I immediately saw this was no ordinary condiment. I'd be hard-pressed to think of another sauce with such a luxe unboxing.
CONSIDER ME A CONVERT
The Best Seller Pack arrived on my doorstep in a gorgeous black and gold foil box, with all three sauces nestled inside. It felt chic and elevated, like opening a flight of whiskey.
The Best Seller Pack arrived on my doorstep in a gorgeous black and gold foil box, with all three sauces nestled inside. It felt chic and elevated, like opening a flight of whiskey. Despite being multiple variations on the same core ingredient, the bottles are easily distinguishable even in their minimalist design. The bottle cap, too, sticks out for its truffle-inspired shape, meaning I can actually find it in my fridge even behind rows of other bottles.
But anyone who's tasted Truff knows it belongs front and center. From my very first sample, I’ve been a full-fledged superfan.
The Black Truffle Hot Sauce ($17.98)
The one that started it all, the original Black Truffle Hot Sauce put Truff on the map with its bold, savory flavor, marrying ripe red chili peppers with organic spices like cumin. I'll admit I can be a bit of a wimp when it comes to spice – I love it for flavor, but when things start inching towards habanero and ghost pepper territory, it's time for me to tap out. This sauce, though, is more akin to sriracha, with a mild but zingy spice that brings a pleasant kick to so many dishes.
While Truff recommends adding this sauce to pizza or drizzling it over a slab of avocado toast, this bottle in particular became my MVP at breakfast. The complex flavor and acidity play beautifully with eggs, which can so easily be bland, and take my breakfast sandwich game into the next stratosphere.
But possibly my favorite product was the Black Truffle's bougier cousin…
The White Truffle Hot Sauce ($34.99)
Hailing from the Piedmont region of Italy, the white truffle is one of most exclusive luxuries in the entire world of food. It goes for hundreds of dollars per ounce, earning it the esteemed nickname "The White Diamond." White truffles are so fragrant and flavorful that it's considered a sin to even cook them – they're almost always shaved delicately over a dish as a finishing touch.
It makes perfect sense to infuse them in this finishing sauce, where it's accented by lighter, brighter herbs like coriander. Though the suggested pairings of fried chicken sounded delicious, a sophisticated sauce called for a sophisticated meal in my book. I drizzled this sauce over filets of beautifully seared salmon, and marveled at how well the white truffle came through even with all the spice around it. For those of us who can't drop stacks of cash on hand-foraged delicacies, Truff brings the excitement of the white truffle for a fraction of the price.
The Black Truffle Oil ($24.99)
This one is as simple as it gets: olive oil infused with black winter truffles. Here the namesake ingredient is the unmistakable star. But, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the truffle notes still have subtlety. No need to worry about clobbering your meal with one flavor – you can drizzle this oil with as heavy a hand as you want. And believe me, I did.
Because this blend was made for finishing, not for cooking, it lends itself perfectly to foods that love a final coating of oil: think pasta, roasted veggies, even a hearty soup. But my go-to instantly became truffle popcorn. With just some sea salt and a heavy dose of Truff, every bowl is my idea of heaven, the sole inspiration for many and many a movie night.
So if you haven't caught on by now, it's safe to say my hesitation around truffle dishes is officially gone for good. But when it comes to ordering them out, I think I'll still decline. I'd rather make them at home my own way – with Truff.
FIVE MORE REASONS TO JOIN THE TRUFF CLUB:
1. You're in good company: besides Oprah, other celebrity fans include Pharrell, Jason Deruole, Steve Aoki, plus chefs like Michael Symon and Alvin Cailan.
2. Real spice-heads will be thrilled to know that Truff's original hot sauce also comes in a Hotter variety that really brings the heat.
3. Truff puts a high premium on all its ingredients, not just the truffles, sourcing organic agave nectar straight from Jalisco, Mexico.
4. Truff sells several gift options beyond the Best Sellers Pack – the Truffle Lovers and Spicy Lovers Packs offer even more tailored options for the foodies in your life.
5. In need of some kitchen inspo? Visit the Truff Kitchen website, where recipes like Spicy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons and Truff Honey Glazed Turkey will kickstart all kinds of cravings.