The black truffle has become a culinary sensation not just because of its delicious taste but also because of the "black" in it. Though technically a fruit, the black truffle actually belongs to a group of fungi called fungi, or micro-organisms.
Black truffles are the fruiting bodies of a subterranean fungus, primarily one of the more popular species of the group, Tuber. There are also many other fungi that fall into this category, including Geopora, Monarda, Peziza, Leucangium, and a few hundred more. Each species differs slightly and grow in different environments, but they all have the same basic characteristic: They produce spores (or 'shapes') that break down into tiny black particles that fall through the air and find their way into a food source. This process is called 'transpiration,' and is what gives the mushrooms their delicious taste.
Truffles contain a lot of water, making them a very desirable treat for people who love a salty taste. Some prefer them plain, while others add herbs, spices, or a combination of spices to make them more palatable.
The black truffles that you see being sold in the supermarket are actually quite sweet. It has been found that while some people don't like the taste of black truffles, there are still others who will gladly take a spoonful to go with their meal. This makes them a perfect snack on a hot day, and they are also good to have on hand for those days when your meal plans involve eating out, or even at home with a cup of coffee.
Another reason why black truffles have taken off in popularity is that they are rather simple to prepare. Most recipes for them call for black pepper and some form of sugar. Other herbs and spices may be added depending on the recipe you use. If you are using them to make a salt or salad dressing, for example, you'll want to be sure you have some fresh basil on hand.
You can purchase black truffle sea salt at any grocery store or specialty food store. It's sold in a powder form or mixed into water. Be sure to read the instructions carefully because while you may be able to get the powder from any store, you will not get as much in the liquid form as you do from a salt shaker.
Make a batch of truffle salt by trying a tiny amount, let it set in the fridge for about ten to fifteen minutes, then taste it to see how you like it. You may need to experiment with different brands, however, to get it to be just right.
One of the things that many people like about using black truffle salt to prepare their meals is that they don't require too much effort to use. While the flavor doesn't change with the cooking temperature, the addition of salt to a dish will keep the flavor from fading.
If you're worried about using something a little salty during the cooling season, don't be. Many dishes call for black truffles to be seasoned before cooking to ensure that they retain their flavor and texture.
If you're worried about cooking time with a salt-free seasoning, don't be. In fact, it can be quite difficult to come up with a meal with an entirely new taste if you don't have this ingredient in the recipe. Instead of using regular salt, it can be much easier to substitute for a variety of other ingredients and then use it as a replacement.
Of course, one of the best reasons to buy black truffle salt is that it makes a fantastic gift for someone you care about. If you're celebrating a birthday, for example, an anniversary, Christmas, or a holiday, a gift card or basket full of truffles may be a nice way to express how much you care. They're also great as part of a gift for a family member who loves to eat chocolate and loves to cook. They can add a special touch to a holiday dish that is intended to be a surprise, such as Easter egg sandwiches.
As with any food item, it's important to read the label of the product you choose before purchasing any. If you do happen to find the right brand for your needs, black truffles are a safe bet to use.