Spoiler alert: It’s not that expensive!
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Truffles are practically a symbol for luxury, and that means that most of us are never going to put them on our shopping list (despite the fact that just a shaving of truffles on a bowl of pasta is truly a thing of beauty). But is there a way to make truffles a part of our lives without breaking the bank? It turns out there is: truffle butter. 

What is truffle butter?

Truffle butter is basically a seasoned spread--creamery butter with tiny (but real!) pieces of truffle blended in. Because truffles have such a pungent flavor, you will definitely get the taste of the heady, aromatic fungi amid the buttery goodness. Without having to pay for lots of truffle! 

Truffle Butter
Credit: Getty / OlgaLarionova

What about truffle oils?

Here's the thing: Most commercially available truffle oils have ZERO truffles in them, but instead a chemical production of the flavor (this is why you hear them being dissed on cooking shows). So, unless you've got a pipeline to a very high-end provider of oil infused with real truffles, you're not going to get any real truffle love from an oil in your supermarket. 

How much does truffle butter cost?

Truffle butter is in fact pretty affordable (think about $7 for a 3.5-ounce tub) and having some stashed in your freezer or fridge is like having a secret gourmet weapon to make so many things fancy!

Ways to use truffle butter 

When it comes to truffle butter, there is no end to the things you can do with it. I will use it to make fancy crostini or crackers: Just melt and brush lightly on thinly sliced bread or on saltines and bake at 400° until golden and crispy.

White truffle butter is amazing with eggs: Grate it straight from frozen into beaten eggs for a scramble of the gods.

Black truffle butter never met a potato it didn't love: Whip some into mashed potatoes or toss baby spuds in it. 

Last but not least there is a super-secret trick the French have been keeping from us: Buttering your bread or cracker before you add your cheese makes your cheese taste cheesier. Trust me, I put butter on all my cheese platters and watch my friends have eureka moments. (Think about grilled cheese sandwiches, and how the butter works there, and you will start to understand.) 

And in the spirit of that grilled cheese, or any griddled sandwich, using truffle butter will take it from basic to breathtaking.

3 truffle butters to try now

I keep a few different truffle butters around; here's what I like having in my fridge (or stored in my freezer): 

Isola Truffle Butter
Credit: Courtesy Instacart

Isola Truffle Butter

Isola makes a whipped black truffle butter that is an affordable $7 or so at your local Whole Foods for a 3.5-ounce tub (and available via Instacart, below!). It packs a great truffle flavor, and with its light texture, is the perfect thing to garnish a steak or steamed vegetables.

Buy it: Isola Truffle Butter (prices vary), instacart.com

Urbani Truffle Butter
Credit: Courtesy Amazon

Urbani Truffle Butter

Urbani makes a great truffle butter that is a bit pricier, but of the highest quality. You can usually source it on Amazon (see below), or directly from their online store. They make both white and black truffle butter, and I love to use it to stir a small dollop into a sauce to finish it, or as a final zhuzh in a risotto or soup.

Buy it: Urbani Truffle Butter (prices vary), amazon.com

Truffle Butter
Credit: Courtesy D'Artagnan

D'Artagnan Truffle Butter

D'Artagnan is my favorite truffle butter to stock; I keep logs of their black and white truffle butters in my freezer at all times. They are both delicious, and at $10 for a tub or about $35 a pound for the logs, an affordable indulgence. One of my favorite ways to use either is to toss with hot pasta and add fresh lemon zest and chopped chives or parsley for an instant side dish that will wow your dinner guests. 

Buy it: D'Artagnan Truffle Butter Sampler ($34.99 for two), dartagnan.com