A truffle, also called a trillium, is a succulent mushroom found in many parts of the world. The name comes from the Greek word for mushroom, "triloba", which means "growing on the surface". A truffle is actually the succulent body of a subsoil ascomycete fungi, primarily one of three species of this genus, Tinospora cordifolia. Among these, only Tuber is considered a true truffle, while the others are commonly known as white truffles.
Tuber belongs to the Tinospora sub-group, a group that includes a large number of small-sized species. Among them, some, such as Tinospora cordifolia, are actually mushrooms that are dark in color and appear as small round mushrooms. Others, such as Tinospora Crispus, resemble mushrooms but are much smaller and are often brown in color. They grow on the surface of underground soil and feed on decaying plants and other organisms.
Truffles are rich in linalool, a strong-smelling, aromatic chemical compound that can be found in some plants and fungi. This property allows them to produce a pungent, licorice-like smell when crushed, which they often do to produce a pungent aroma for themselves. Tinospora cordifolia, or Tuber is also well known for its medicinal properties and has been used for many centuries in Eastern countries such as China. Other species are also used for medicinal purposes, however.
Truffles can be eaten as snacks, but their flavor is often enhanced when mixed with other ingredients like nuts and other foods. Most commonly, people enjoy eating them for their pungent taste but also for their unique texture and softness.
The black truffle sea salt is often served at dinner parties because it gives a nice salty taste that many people find very agreeable. However, black truffles should be eaten sparingly, since they tend to stain clothing, tablecloths, napkins, and dishes if eaten in large quantities. They are also sometimes used in cooking as a garnish. To prepare them for such uses, place them in a bowl of boiling water. for about twenty minutes, then strain and add a few drops of your favorite flavoring.
Some people make a paste out of white truffles and black truffles and use it to flavor their desserts and soups. It can take some time to find the right combination of flavor, but it will add an extra kick. As with most things though, practice makes perfect. If you are not sure what to use, try mixing a few drops of one with a teaspoon of lime juice and some honey.
You can buy this mixture in some specialty stores and also online, but the most popular black truffle salt is still available in stores around the world. When buying it, be sure to read the label to see the specific instructions, as some manufacturers contain additives or coloring to give it a different color or pattern.
As mentioned, black truffles have long been used in Asia for cooking. They are best enjoyed with food made with rice. Other Asian dishes with this type of seasoning include risotto and soup.
In recent years, many people have started growing black truffles on their own. This is a more rewarding process than trying to purchase them commercially. Growing black truffles is relatively simple, although it is important to understand that while they are easy to grow, they must be harvested and packed just before they mature.
Black truffles do not store well, so if you plan on storing them for long periods, you need to be sure to keep them in a cool place. The best method of storing them is using a wire mesh bag or plastic bagged paper grocery bags with a few inches of air between the top and the bottom of the bag.
You can purchase fresh or dried black truffles at most stores, although dried ones are usually cheaper. If you live in a cold climate where frost or freezing are common, you may want to consider growing your own. To get the best flavor from the salt, mix the dry mixture with the water before using it. If it turns out to be too bitter, add another layer of water and allow it to sit overnight.
Salt is best stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, and never put it in the refrigerator. As long as the storage space is dry and the container tightly closed, the salt should last for several months. Keep the container tightly closed at all times to prevent evaporation.