Zen and the Art of White Truffle Butter

I've been enjoying having a little tub of truffle-scented butter in my freezer for a few months now. Every now and then I pull it out and dig up a little piece to add that last-minute truffle flourish to classic dishes like scrambled eggs or sauteed potatoes. I've even put it on popcorn. It seems like the little 3 oz container is lasting forever and I've been happy with the results.

Then I started to do some internet research and quickly began to lose my zen. Was I being duped?It's becoming common knowledge these days that truffle oil is usually made with olive oil and a few chemicals that mimic the most pungent aspects of truffles. Could that be what's going on with my butter? And why would that be a problem?

The butter is studded with bits of something, so visually it looks right. The label says that indeed these are white truffles (Tuber Magnatum Pico.) But it also lists something called Natural White Truffle Extract. Was this the artificial truffle ingredient being scorned by bloggers everywhere? And was my palate so unsophisticated that I couldn't tell the difference between chemicals and the real thing?

I fussed about this for a few minutes but then gradually calmed down. Bottom line is, I'm enjoying the butter. The only reason to remain upset has to do with possibly looking a bit foolish, but I'll risk it. Besides, since there's no way I can afford an actual truffle, this will just have to do. And it does quite well, in fact. Zen restored.

(Image: Dana )

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