A truffle is simply the outer fruiting body of ascomycetous subterranean fungi, most commonly one of the numerous species of the genus Tuber. In addition to Tuber, several other genera of fungi all over the world are likewise classified as truffles such as Geopora, Peziza, Choiromyces, Leucangium, and a number of others. These mushrooms are usually associated with the desert and mountain areas of France, Italy, Switzerland, and the Himalayas in Asia.
Most people associate truffles as being much like edible mushrooms, and this association is often due to the earthy flavor that is characteristic of black truffle salt. However, not everyone agrees, arguing that the earthy flavor and texture of truffle salt is much like that of sea salt. Many also note that while the flavor of sea salt is much like that of seawater, the flavor of earthy or mushroom-flavored truffle salt is much more similar to that of mustard. It is this texture and flavor that gives it the reputation of being very much like the dead sea.
In terms of appearance, truffle salt is generally clear, although there are some available in opaque white shades. The coloration of these salts is largely affected by the manner in which they are stored, either they are smoked for a longer time, or they are kept in air-tight canisters, or bags. Smoked truffles tend to have a higher concentration of minerals, whereas those that are stored in bags retain less of their flavor. Another way of preserving these delicacies is to dry them after having been smoked. Air-tight canisters allow the flavor to retain for a longer period, although this method may affect the salt's ability to draw flavors from the other ingredients in the blend. In addition, dried truffles may also lose their luster if stored in damp weather for a long time.
Truffle salt comes in many different forms. It can be found in the classic salt and pepper shakers where a long handle is used to shake the powder into shakers, or it can even come in a bottle. Although the classic molds of the confectioner are made from metal, you can also find glass molds that are specifically designed for use with truffle salt. Glass does permit the ingredients' color to show through, but since this salt is primarily made from salt crystals, its color does not become as pronounced as those produced from metal. Nevertheless, glass is an excellent choice for displaying these salty treats.
Some chefs who are sensitive to artificial flavors or preservatives use truffle salt as a healthy substitute because it adds a flavor not easily found in commercially prepared food. In fact, you can flavor truffle salt just like you would make your own. For example, you could season it with herbs, nutmeg, garlic, and any other herbs that you add to the mix. You could then use a food processor or blender to blend it until it has the consistency of coarse sand. This texture makes it ideal for sprinkling on top of baked potatoes or carrots.
Another way to enjoy truffle salt is to use it in conjunction with high-quality sea salt. Sea salt contains a higher amount of magnesium, which works with mineral and trace mineral content to help bring out the flavor of this rich seasoning. This finishing salt's power in enhancing the flavor of foods is what makes it an ideal complement to truffle salt. Not only can you use sea salt with truffle salt for an economical and convenient way to enjoy this rich seasoning, you can also use this salty treat with fish, meats, cheese, fruit, veggies and a host of other dishes that are rich in flavor.
The Internet is a great resource for finding information on how to prepare truffles. As well as great recipes, you can also learn how to use truffle salt to make delightful desserts and pastries. Some people even enjoy making truffle oil so that they can add this light and flavorful seasoning to their own home cooking as well as fine wine. Whichever your passion, you're sure to find everything you need online to begin enjoying this delightful salty treat.