A truffle is the edible fruiting body of a microscopic ascomycanete fungi, primarily one of the seven species of this genus called Tuber. There are about 400 species in the family, the other five are not represented in cultivated culture today. There are two species found in the northern parts of France, the one with white flesh and the other with red flesh. The latter has a more bitter taste and is more prized than the white-toothed variety. It is said to have originated from the Alps where it flourishes. In fact, the word "truffle" is derived from the French word for the Alps, "trues".
While the name "truffle" is already given, the exact name for this delicacy is still unknown. Some assume that it is an Italian dish, while others think it originated in France. Probably, this delicacy is rather new in the United States, although its popularity is on the rise. Moreover, the highly prized black truffle salt is now available at many supermarkets and specialty stores.
A rich truffle flavor is created when highly refined sea salt is combined with the natural yeast of the fungi and allowed to ferment. The resulting salty liquid is then added to other ingredients such as butter and scented oils. Truffles are then baked, usually in a ring shape, to make them more aesthetically appealing. Truffle salt is very pricey and difficult to find outside of France, Italy, and Switzerland. This is probably why the dish remains a regional specialty.
In order to use truffle salt correctly, you must determine what is its proper usage? Although many chefs and cooks proclaim that this salty herb can be used to replace other seasonings in any dish, it is not meant to replace butter or other high-pings. For instance, you cannot substitute truffle salt for molasses. You also need to stay away from using a lot of sugar because it will take the essence of the sea salt and make it less appealing.
It takes a long way to make a simple truffle taste better, however. It takes at least three days for the aroma to begin to show, which makes it a very long way to enjoy a piece of this heavenly food. Although many experts claim that the longer you let the truffle ferment, the more intense the taste, it still takes about seven to 10 days for the true aroma to emerge. This is probably why some people enjoy truffle flavored salt only for a short while and then move on to something else.
The key to enjoying truffle salt relies on finding the right blend of flavors and textures, as well as on the size of the pieces. Large pieces are great for creating a big bold aroma that penetrates your nostrils as you take a bite. Smaller pieces, on the other hand, give you just enough of an aroma to warrant a small bite, but not so much as to make you feel like you are cheating. And while the earthy taste is the perfect finish to the meal, smaller salts can enhance the flavor of cheese and butter without overwhelming the entire taste.
Of course, truffle salt has another purpose as well. Many French plates of pasta contain this salty herb, which is often used to bring out the flavors in eggs or crackers. The secret to enjoying truffle salt is finding the right blend of flavors that match the texture of your meal. Cheese and butter with large pieces are often blended with sea salt for a smooth consistency that brings out the natural flavor of eggs, cheese, or steak. Smaller pieces of cheese or sea salt can be sprinkled over meals to help bring out the nutty or creamy flavors in vegetables or bread without overwhelming the taste.
As you can see, there are many uses for truffle salt. You can make great meals, enjoy an aroma that will linger in your mouth, or add texture to your food. Whatever your goals are, using truffle salt for your cooking is a great way to achieve your goal.