Truffle Butter

Ounce for ounce, truffles are the most expensive food in the world. In December 2014 the largest truffle every found was sold at auction by Sotheby's. The bidding started at $42,500, and some considered it a bargain when the 3.93 pound fungus sold for $61,250.

Truffles are round, black, warty, and dusty. They grow mainly in France, and over the centuries they have become a favored ingredient in French cooking.

The best truffles are harvested in winter. They grow underground, and if you venture out into the French countryside in January you might spy a peculiar event. Imagine a sleepy farmer following his favorite pig through a stand of trees on a cold morning. The farmer waits patiently for the pig to squeal in delight when it scents a truffle. You see, pigs love truffles too. French farmers have used pigs for hundreds of years to harvest this most aromatic of foods. Of course pigs have a tendency to scarf down the tasty snack so dogs are often trained for this job today.

Truffle Hunting

Even in France the truffle is becoming more and more difficult to find. This despite the fact that the French are planting groves of Oak trees in hopes of encouraging new growth. Unfortunately not every stand of trees produces a truffle crop. No one really knows why, but as this food grows more scarce the price gets steeper. You might want to try this delicacy now before it dwindles away into extinction.


Truffles are highly perishable. In just a few days the scent and flavor will be gone, so if you manage to get your hands on one don't save it for a rainy day. Imagine the horror of unwrapping your truffle only to find it shriveled and inedible. It is possible however to prolong the life of the truffle. Truffle butter is a good way to give your fungus some staying power. It also gives you more bang for your buck since a little truffle butter goes a long way.

The recipe couldn't be simpler really. Take one third of an ounce of finely chopped truffle and one pound of fresh butter. Fold the two ingredients together and put the mixture aside until the flavors mingle. The proportions are entirely up to you. Make a butter that suits your taste, but keep in mind that you can always add more butter later if you want a milder flavor. The reverse will not be possible. Use unsalted butter for the same reason. This delicious truffle butter can be frozen and enjoyed for up to a month.

Because fresh truffles are no longer at peak flavor by the time they make it to the US you might be better off sampling one of the prepackaged truffle butters on the market. You can find them at a fraction of the price of the fresh product. The best truffles are from Piemont so look for that name on the label. Beware of truffle oils and butters sold in the US. A few of them don't contain any real truffles at all. They're made with artificial flavoring.

Truffle butter is easy to use in the kitchen. No complicated French recipes are necessary. Just toss some with pasta or put a dollop on top of a perfectly cooked steak. How about truffle butter mashed potatoes? Delicious!


If you're feeling a little more ambitious try this recipe.

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Comments 12 comments

katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Amazing stuff, JoieG, and by coincidence I am currently reading a book which opens with truffle hunting with a dog.

Fascinating food, but one I've never tasted.


JoieG profile image

JoieG 6 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Thanks Katy! What's the name of the book? I'd love to check it out myself.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Katy, I have never even seen a truffle before so this was very interesting. Thanks.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

JoieG, $330,000 for a truffle? Whew... you made me really curious as to how truffle butter tastes like. LOL

Congrats for your Hubnugget nomination. Read all the details right over here: http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/When-Kung-Fu-...

To truffle butter and the Hubnuggets...eat and be merry!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Great info, I knew about the truffle sniffing pigs, but I did not know that dogs could be trained to perform the task as well. Congrats on being nominated as a HubNuggets Wannabe. Good luck!


JoieG profile image

JoieG 6 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Thanks to all of you for stopping by. I really am excited about the nomination.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

expensive whew, nice hub, continue writing, Maita


Delaney Boling profile image

Delaney Boling 6 years ago

Good hub on one of my favorite ingredients to work with! (side note: I named my dog Truffle...) Also, congrats on your Hubnuggets nomination. Not too shabby for only six weeks! Welcome to hubpages and I wish you success. Looking forward to more great hubs from you.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

You could buy a restaurant with that much money! I enjoyed reading this hub. I really do like truffles as well, as they have such an aromatic scent which is distinctive and unique. I enjoy them with risotto personally.

Congrats on your nomination! I won a "Hubnugget" shortly after I joined many moons ago. Remember to tell your friends, family, and colleagues about it and get them to come over here to vote! They'll be able to vote only once!

Best of luck to you!

Dohn


JoieG profile image

JoieG 6 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Thanks! Hub Pages people are the best. I appreciate the kind words.


hannzach profile image

hannzach 6 years ago from UK

Hi,Welcome to hubpages. I really enjoyed your hub on truffles, I've never tried them, as they're so expensive, but I'll look out for the truffle butter, that sounds really nice.


stevan the black truffle farmer 6 years ago

A black truffle farm is a great way to make a living. Farming the black truffle used to be considered snake oil but I a sure it is very profitable.

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