Once in a while a reader throws us a question that really makes us think: as (alleged) role models in the vast food enthusiast universe, what would we do? Such is the case with this inquiry, received yesterday from a Food Republic fan:

"So this girl on OK Cupid messaged me asking if I liked truffle oil, cause she thinks it makes everything taste better. How do I gracefully respond that I look down my nose at most uses of truffle oil?" 

That IS a pickle. It sounds like homeboy knows his way around the kitchen (so to speak), which makes his disdain for 2,4-dithiapentane, the synthetic compound that flavors most truffle oil, perfectly justifiable. But does he want to go on this date or not? We asked around FR Headquarters.

"Be diplomatic. Say that while you agree that truffle oil makes some things better — mostly fried starches, pasta and eggs — it's no umami. "What's umami?" she'll ask. Then you drop an bomb of knowledge about the "secret fifth flavor," take her for sushi and end of story." -Matt Rodbard, Contributing Editor


"Saying you love truffle oil is akin to saying you’re a “foodie.” It’s kinda cute initially, gradually becomes annoying and finally, crosses over to the downright unbearable. It’s an excuse for some (shrewd) restaurateur to hike up his nondescript menu item a few bucks, drizzling it with truffle oil and creating a flavor bomb monstrosity while masking the dish’s low-quality ingredients. Might as well go and Instagram it, while you’re at it. A love of those two tend to go hand-in-hand." -George Embiricos, Assistant Contributing Editor


"Tell her bluntly: "Sure, truffle oil is a serviceable trick, but there are more effective flavor enhancers. And some smell even funkier! If you truly want a magic bullet solution that makes everything taste better, try weed." -Chris Shott, Contributor


"I want so badly to say 'reply with just a link to buy truffle salt online,' but not only will you never hear from her again, you'll come off as a dick, which is terrible for your dating karma. So I revise my answer: hit the Quickmatch tab like a bat out of hell and if you come across a photo that looks like oh, say, me, drop a line." –Jess Kapadia, Senior Editor

Keep in mind: this is urgent. Help a buddy out. How would you make this into a big win? 

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