The black truffle is a delicacy in many parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. It is a succulent, a very sweet mushroom, with a distinctive aroma that makes it perfect for a holiday table. But before you buy that bag of black truffles, make sure you know what you're doing.
A truffle is simply the fruiting body of an ascomycete fungus, primarily one of three species of the genus Aspergillus. Other species in this genus include Geopora and several others. The ascomycete fungi, however, can be distinguished from other species by the fact that they possess a small-cap and a black coloration on their gills. Other characteristics of Aspergillus fungi are the presence of gill edges that have not yet fused together, spore-trapping structures, and a common lifespan of fewer than two decades. Some fungi do live longer, but only in controlled environments, such as those found in soil.
In the United States, Aspergillus fungi grow primarily in soil and on decaying organic material. In a laboratory, the mushrooms' ability to tolerate high levels of moisture has been proven, making them ideal candidates for use as a food additive.
Aspergillus fungi also have the ability to form spores. These spores can then easily travel between locations on the earth's surface. Spores can also spread by wind and water, and thus as result mushrooms are used to season foodstuffs that are exposed to these sources of moisture, such as bread, meats, or fish. Also, mushroom spores have been used for hundreds of years as a preservative for meats, including bacon.
A black truffle has no taste, smell, or flavor, but it is the shape and color of its skin that gives it its distinctive flavor. The truffle's texture can vary depending on whether the mushroom is intact or chopped. and the method of preparation used.
Traditionally, truffle salt is prepared by soaking a piece of meat, such as beef or pork, with salt in liquid. It is then cooked until it softens. It is then pressed, then allowed to dry, then sliced into flakes. and served with a variety of meals, including meats, cheeses, vegetables, potatoes, pasta, and fruit. It is often eaten on its own or in place of cream or butter.
Because the black truffle has a pungent odor, which is distinctively strong, it should not be used for cooking. Black truffle salt is also used to enhance the flavor of cheese, particularly hard cheeses, such as Brie or Cheddar. It works well on seafood, such as salmon and other white fish, with a hint of tang, or with vegetables such as spinach.
Because it is such a versatile seasoning, truffle salt can be used in a wide variety of recipes to help add to, rather than overpower the flavor of, traditional dishes. It can be used as a marinade, on foods that are not traditional to be served with it, such as rice. In fact, the salt can also be added to baked potatoes or even mixed with other ingredients such as parsley, onions, mushrooms, garlic, or thyme. to make a tasty appetizer to accompany some fresh fish, or with a dish of fresh, baked broccoli.
While the color of black truffles may not be appealing to some people, for others, its unique, creamy texture is quite appealing. The salt has a very unique flavor, with a slight salty or slightly smoky undertone. While it is not a very noticeable one, the salt will be noticeable in some dishes, such as with a dish of caviar, and salmon fillets.
For cooking purposes, black truffle salt can be a great seasoning, especially when used in place of salt. If you cook with it on top of a dish of fish, the fish will retain its natural texture and will not rub off, instead of absorbing the flavor of the salt. Many people add it to dishes before they bake to create a delicious truffle puff pastry.
The most popular way of using it is as a garnish for desserts. Because of its unique flavor, many people enjoy eating it as an accompaniment for chocolate, coffee, tea, or other hot beverages. The most important thing to keep in mind when using this salt is to not use too much.