Shake Shack x Regalis Foods: Bringing Real Truffles to All
As most Shack fans know, we recently launched our new Black Truffle Burger + Parmesan Garlic Fries with Black Truffle Sauce. What you may not know, is that we partnered with Regalis Foods to source the highest-quality Organic Black Truffle Olive Oil to make our Black Truffle Sauce.
While on the lookout for new partners for menu items, our team pulls out all the stops to find the highest-quality ingredients—which is how we discovered Regalis! Based in New York City, Regalis is a specialty food purveyor known for providing luxury, tough-to-find products including fresh truffles, rare, foraged edibles, Japanese wagyu beef, caviar, uni, and more.
From the moment we met the Regalis team, we knew their products were something special. We recently sat down with Ian Purkayastha, founder of Regalis to hear his story and learn more about truffles. Check it out below!
How it Started
My love of truffles began when I was 15. I started foraging for wild mushrooms with my uncle in Fayetteville, Arkansas and dreamt of tasting the king of all mushrooms, the elusive truffle. Soon after experiencing my first truffle dish with a friend, I was hooked! I began pooling together birthday and Christmas savings to finance a fresh truffle order from a forager in France and when they arrived, I began cold calling chefs locally. By my senior year of high school, I expanded my reach to chefs nationally and quickly began building a reputation for quality. I decided to defer college and move to New York in hopes of striking it big. I quickly became known as “Truffle Boy” to my chef clientele of New York’s most revered restaurants. By 2012, I founded Regalis Foods, to continue supplying an array of rare ingredients. Today, Regalis supplies 90% of the Michelin-starred restaurant community nationally.
Truffles are an underground fungus, or tuber, that grow on the roots of their symbiotic host trees. Truffles give micronutrients from the soil to trees and vice versa. Black truffles typically accompany hazelnut, oak, cherry, or other deciduous trees, and are harvested in the fall and winter. They are most famously associated with the Périgord region of France.
For centuries, foragers used female pigs to help them find wild truffles. Female pigs were used because truffles contain a pheromone reminiscent of male pigs. Over the years this practice became widely abandoned because the pigs often ate the truffles. Today, specially trained dogs are used to find wild truffles.
Black truffles are far more prevalent than white truffles and have an aromatic intensity that makes them perfect for cooking. Unlike white truffles, whose aroma and flavor quickly diminish when heated, the flavor and intensity of black truffles comes out with gentle heating and warming. Black truffles have an extremely earthy, deep aroma, reminiscent of cognac and chocolate, far woodsier than white truffles.
Fresh truffles are still 90% wild foraged, which means they occur in nature without replication or cultivation. As far as cultivation is concerned, black truffles have come a long way in the past two decades with some successful growers in Spain, Australia, and Chile. However, the white truffle is still exclusively wild and to date has never been cultivated commercially.
The Real Deal
Most truffle oils on the market are made using an artificial truffle flavoring derived from 2,4-Dithiapentane–an aromatic compound found in bad breath, foot odor, even flatulence. On the contrary, our Organic Black Truffle Olive Oil does not contain any synthetic flavorings and is made utilizing real truffles. Our truffle oil tastes much lighter than most since there are no artificial flavorings in our product.
At Regalis we source fresh truffles from several different countries. The most famed regions are Italy and France, but we also source large volumes from Spain, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Australia, and Chile. We work with hundreds of truffle foragers who roam the forests with specially trained dogs. The black truffles that we source for our Organic Black Truffle Olive Oil are the winter variety, also known as black winter truffles (tuber melanosporum) which typically come into season between December-March.
Truffles for All
I’ve wanted to work with Shake Shack for nearly a decade! Our products are typically only sold to fine dining restaurants, and we’ve really wanted to introduce our ingredients and flavors to a significantly larger audience. We are thrilled that this partnership is doing just that.
Can’t wait to try real black truffle? Swing by a Shack to grab the Black Truffle Burger and Parmesan Garlic Fries. To skip the wait and for contact-free payment and pick-up, order ahead on our Shack App and online.