by Chua Wei Ling
These days, pop into any cafe and you’ll be bound to find truffle fries being offered on the menu. In fact, MacDonald’s here recently launched their Truffle Shaker Fries for the festive season! Yet, what is the hype for all these ‘truffle fries’ really?
Being offered on certain cafes’ menus since 2011, it wasn’t until the recent year or so that the truffle fries gained popularity and prominence. Seen as a luxury side as it was paired with items such as lobster rolls, many people had scoffed at the idea when they first heard of it, as they felt it was ludicrous to pay that much (on average, $12) for a simple plate of shoestring fries that was simply drizzled a fungi-infused oil. Yet, with time it seems that this had taken off pretty well, spreading across Singapore such that the normal fries becoming a rarity these days instead.
Most people who are a fan of truffle fries would say that it is the taste of truffles that draw them to it, however, interestingly, majority of these people will not have tasted real fungi before! In the process of making truffle fries, what is offered instead, is a product that probably may not even contain any aspects of the real truffle. In fact, majority of the truffle oils found in the market are simply the byproduct of chemistry, combining olive oil or grapeseed oil with one of the many scents that can be found in truffles replicable by synthetic engineering. The end result? A truffle oil that contains no real truffle – an artificial scent substitute.
So why is it so popular then?
A possibility to this could be due to the fact that it is a food, and it is a fad – as a foodie nation, Singaporeans flock to food, and especially so if they are something new. Bubble tea, lobster rolls, and recently, korean fried chicken, perhaps it is our love of food in general, rather than anything else that draws us to want more of something that we may not exactly know about. Nonetheless, we probably can wonder – what’s next after this?
What’s your take on this?