Truffle Oil Versus Truffle Butter - What's the Difference?

The taste of truffles can add flavor and oomph to any meal. However, very few of us have the grocery budget to go out and buy an ounce of fresh truffles. Fortunately, there are ways to get that gourmet truffle flavor without blowing the weekly food budget.

 

Truffle butter and truffle oil are two ingredients cooks can use to imbue their menus with the flavor and scent of truffles, but what's the difference, and how do you know if what you are getting is authentic?

 

What is Truffle Oil?

 

The growing popularity of food shows, and celebrity chefs has inspired home-cooks to get a little more adventurous in their dishes, and a rising favorite strategy is to cook with truffle oil.

 

Truffles were once an elusive ingredient only available to five-star kitchens and elite chefs, but times have changed, and people want these flavors available in their kitchens.

 

A wide variety of truffle oils have arrived on store shelves to fill this need.  Truffle oil is essentially olive oil infused with truffle flavor. Other oils, like canola and grapeseed oil, are also used for truffle oil because they have a more neutral flavor.

 

Fake truffle oil uses synthetic ingredients like 2,4 dithiapentane. The molecule gives truffles their distinctive aroma, but it's a poor substitute for real truffles. Unfortunately, most truffle oils available in supermarkets are created using this method and lack the complexity of authentic truffle flavors.

 

There are truffle oils made with the residue of truffles that have been prepared for sale, but most will use inferior varieties from the more than 200 truffle species and not the culinary types like white Alba or black Périgord.

 

Always check the labeling to ensure your truffle oil is made from real, high-quality truffles. Ingredients like "truffle flavor" or "truffle aroma" indicate synthetic truffle flavoring. If you don't see the word truffles listed on its own somehow, then the oil is most likely a fake variety.

 

What is Truffle Butter?

 

Truffle butter is a dairy-based butter created from milk or cream with real truffle pieces added during the later production stages.

 

However, like truffle oil, not all truffle butter is created equal. Quite a few brands will use synthetic ingredients to achieve the truffle flavors and fragrances.

 

However, synthetic products cannot compete with the naturally complex aromas and flavors present in real truffles. The only way to do that is to use authentic truffle pieces, like the black and white truffles used in TART-UFO truffle butter.

 

Truffle butter is available as butter made from cow's milk, sheep's milk, or goat's milk, with the essential ingredient being the truffles.

 

When your goal is to enjoy authentic truffle flavor, you should avoid any butter with truffle fragrances or truffle oil listed on the ingredients. The majority of these will use synthetic products. They are usually a lot more affordable but do not provide a genuine truffle experience.

 

You can use truffle butter in a wide range of recipes. From pasta and pizzas to burgers and eggs on toast, add unique flavors to any of your favorite dishes you already enjoy or try something new in the kitchen.