TRUFF has been around since 2017, but I only became aware of the brand in 2022 when it collaborated with Taco Bell to feature its hot sauce. While researching, I was surprised to learn how many different products it had infused with the infamous fungus. Hot sauce was where it started, but now there’s a variety of products, including oil, pasta sauce, salt, and mayo.
Popeyes’ Spicy TRUFF Chicken Sandwich takes the original chicken sandwich and swaps the standard mayo with Spicy TRUFF Mayo. It’s a rich, creamy base that gets its spicy flavor from red jalapeños and earthiness from the black winter truffles. You can also add a side of the Spicy TRUFF Mayo to your order if you want to try it without committing to having it on your sandwich.
Truffles and I have a mixed relationship. I appreciate the savory, deep, and earthy flavor they can bring to food. When paired and balanced right, the meal can be very enjoyable. However, when low-quality truffle oil is haphazardly added to something simply to make it sound fancy, it usually results in an inedible dish. I approached this limited time item with a healthy amount of skepticism but also a genuine hope it would surprise me.
The smell of the truffles was extremely bold as I took the sandwich out of the package. While not unbearable or nauseating, it was not pleasant. It reminded me of mushrooms in the back of the fridge one day away from becoming inedible. Interestingly, my husband didn’t mind the smell. (Holly Fact: Truffles are similar to cilantro in that a genetic component is most likely the cause of how you smell/taste them). Moving past the smell, I tried a bit of the sauce on its own first.
The creaminess of the mayo and the slight spice of the red jalapeño were the first flavors I tasted. The truffle came creeping up at the end, bringing the umami finish. The mayo didn’t really stand out in a positive or negative way after taking a bite of the sandwich. It was just sort of there, occasionally adding a slightly spicy tang or earth layer to the iconic sandwich with each bite. It was a bit disappointing to have the sauce feel so secondary to the flavor profile. The crunchy, juicy chicken breast, pickles, and soft brioche bun are still as good as they’ve always been.
Popeyes’ Spicy TRUFF Chicken Sandwich is an interesting dabble into “fancy” for the chain, but it didn’t move the needle for me. The fungus-based condiment is certain to have its fans and haters, but for me, I fall in the middle. The sandwich did the heavy lifting of making the sauce palatable when it should have been the other way around, having the sauce elevate the sandwich.
Purchased Price: $5.99 (sandwich only)
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 670 calories, 38 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 1560 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein.