What is Truffle Butter?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Truffle butter is butter that has been infused with tiny pieces of truffles, the fruiting bodies of fungi in the genus Tuber. Many people associate it with French cuisine, where it plays a very large role, but it also appears in foods from other parts of Europe, especially Italy. There's nothing stopping any cook from using this butter anywhere he or she pleases. This gourmet item is available at some markets and specialty stores, and can also be made at home, assuming that the cook has access to truffles and high quality butter.

Steak with truffle butter and fries.
Steak with truffle butter and fries.

Truffles have been prized by humans for centuries. They have a distinctive heady aroma and a rich, earthy, nutty flavor that complements a wide range of foods. Most truffles are found in close association with trees, and harvesters need to carefully dig for them, as they grow underground. In some regions, animals such as pigs and dogs have been trained to root for truffles, simplifying the harvest process.

A sliced black truffle.
A sliced black truffle.

To make truffle butter, cooks ideally use a high quality creamery butter that is as fresh as possible. They carefully wash and brush one or more truffles to remove residual dirt, and then chop it into very fine pieces. The pieces are blended into the butter, along with any juice that they have secreted, and then the butter is chilled. Typically, the resulting product is quite strong, with an intense flavor that requires careful use so that it does not become overwhelming.


There are a number of ways to use truffle butter. Some use it as the base for sauces, for example, or as a basting material on roasting meats. It can also be used to prepare things like omelets, or it can be served on the side with a dish as a garnish. It is also possible to use the butter in things like mashed potatoes; basically, it can be used in any savory dish that calls for butter.

Truffle butter may be available in some stores labeled as containing "white" or "black" truffles. These are simply different species within the truffle genus, each with distinct flavors. White truffles grow primarily in Italy, while black truffles are found in the Perigord region of France, and they are very famous. It is also possible to find summer truffles, which are classically white. Different truffles are available at different times of the year; black truffles, for example, taste the best in January, while summer truffles are available in the summer through the early fall, depending on the region.

Pigs are trained to root for truffles in some places.
Pigs are trained to root for truffles in some places.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I have tried both and I really like the black best because it is stronger. The white was milder. You may prefer mild or strong, but that is the main difference to me.


You can buy it at Wegmans. They have Truffle Finishing Butter.


Where in the store do I find the truffle butter?


I've left a jar of truffle butter (lid was on) unrefrigerated at ~23 degrees (C) for about 10 hours. Can I still eat it or should I chuck it out?


What do you put truffle butter on? Do you basically use it like regular butter or does it have some special use?

I have tried making my own flavored butters in the past but I never thought to use mushrooms. But I like cooking mushrooms in butter so this truffle butter stuff has me really intrigued.


There are few things in the world as truly decadent as truffle butter. I know that it is rare and expensive and all that, but the cost and hassle is worth it for something as rich and complex as that.


just saw truffle butter in Fresh Market.


The truffle oil from Oregon is made from white truffles harvested in that state - no chemicals. An online search will find them.


Charlie89, Fresh Market in Hendersonville has white truffle butter, but I don't know about the one in Asheville.


this is available from a company online. if you sign up you get a $15.00 credit so you can get truffle butter 8 oz. for $1.95 that includes shipping cost. and if you refer others you get a $15.00 credit for every referral.


In response to Jabuka: Truffle oil would be the cheap alternative, but it wouldn't hold the same intensity as it doesn't actually come from truffles.


@galen84basc -- I've only been fortunate enough to try black truffle butter, but it is really good. I had the truffle butter with turkey, and it really gave the turkey a delicately mushroomy flavor, but without the fungal taste that you get sometimes with regular mushrooms.

I would definitely recommend everyone to try it at least once in their life.


Has anyone used both white and black truffle butter? I'm really curious if one is particularly better than the other, or if they are pretty much the same.


Does anybody know where I can buy white truffle butter in North Carolina? I really want to find out where to buy white truffle butter, but we don't have a Whole Foods, and I haven't seen it at my local Earthfare.

Does anybody in the Asheville area know where I could get this?


Truffle butter is quite expensive, as much as ten times the regular butter.

At home truffle butter can also be made by adding truffle oil to the butter.

Post your comments
Forgot password?