A truffle or trillucid is a large mushroom that has a brownish or blackish ground color. The mushroom consists of two parts, the outer skin and the inner layer of air sacs or pore-enclosed spaces in the skin.
A truffle is a fruiting body of ascomycete fungi, mainly one of several species of the family Tuberculata. This includes some species of Geoporus, Peziza, and many others.
The name truffle, meaning "little boot", comes from the shape of these mushrooms. They have a round shape, roughly four inches in diameter, with a very long stem ending in a brownish white cap.
The Ascomycota fungi or mushrooms actually do not eat and produce their edible products from decaying organic material. Instead, they thrive on sugars from the foods and drinks we eat. Truffles, therefore, have been prized for their flavor since prehistoric times.
Ascomycota Fungi can be found all over the world, especially on the surface of trees and the ground. This type of fungi loves moist and shady conditions, it likes decaying vegetation and moist soil. The black truffle fungi are very specific in which types of food they thrive on.
While many varieties of the black truffle fungi grow all over the world, only the most highly cultivated variety, Black Truffle, grows in France. It is also called a "truffle of the gods." This type of truffle grows in France on the forest floor, where it is protected by a protective covering of decaying pine needles, and feeds on the cellulose in these fibers.
Many Ascomycota fungi also reproduce by forming spores. One type of truffle, the Black Truffle, however, produces its own spores and does not need a host.
The black truffle salt, like many other varieties of this mushroom is only produced in the United States. Although the cultivation and production of truffles in Europe are relatively widespread, the quality of this variety is generally lower. The black truffle can grow in some parts of Africa and Asia but its harvest is rare, due to the absence of favorable conditions there.
The cultivation of truffles is usually done in mountainous areas where the temperatures are moderate and the conditions favorable for growing mushrooms. It is also common to harvest them from the ground rather than the trees.
Truffles have been traditionally cured using salt. The salt is used as a preservative. The most common way to make this process is to soak the mushrooms in water until they are soft, then the salt is applied. Once they are soft, they can be sliced into thin rounds.
This salt is then placed in a closed jar and allowed to sit in a room where the air is salty, for about twenty-four hours. This allows the salt to draw out the moisture in the truffles. This process also seals them so they cannot be eaten raw. The flavor of the mushrooms is preserved.
The traditional way to use the salt as a preservative is to pour some into hot chocolate and keep it around the edges of the glass to prevent them from melting. Another, less traditional, way is to add a little too hot coffee. This process is also quite effective in preserving the flavor, but it does require a little more time. The salt can be added right to the chocolate mixture in order to help it preserve more effectively.
The aroma of the truffles is extracted by stirring the mixture with a spoon or fork before it is poured into a container with a lid. This mixture should also be kept cool while being stored in the refrigerator. Some people mix truffle salt with fruit juice to make a thick paste. This mixture can also be used to add a slight fruity taste to drinks.
There are no studies to support the claim that using this salt as an additive to other foods has any effect on health, but there are some who believe it may help people suffering from certain illnesses. Truffle salt has been used for hundreds of years by many cultures and is still considered very healthy today.