Black truffles have been known for centuries as a delicacy throughout the Mediterranean region, Asia and Europe. The name "black truffle" is derived from the dark brown to black color of the flesh.
Truffles are not actually mushrooms, but mushrooms which are particularly tough and perishable. Black truffles do not contain any taste or scent, though they can be dried for a period of time. In addition, they are quite delicate. A hole is cut in the cap, which allows air to enter.
But it is the way in which the tasters perceive the salt that determines how fresh or dead the truffles are. When tasters describe the salt as "crunchy"dry", it means that the dark and fibrous mass of the mushroom is very similar to the texture of a dry grain of rice.
There are many varieties of black truffle salt. They range from very salty (or salty enough) to those which contain organic black truffles. Each salt tends to be an acquired taste.
Organic truffles usually come from the process of fungi breeding in a controlled environment. Their creators use organic methods to grow the truffles to maturity. The majority of the authentic truffles contain truffles that are created by fungi which is grown under controlled conditions.
Some of the genuine organic black truffles that are produced are sourced from the regions of France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Portugal. There are also more unusual products available such as shiitake, maitake and mokume gari.
Black truffle salt is an expensive item. It can range from two pounds to ten pounds per pound. The quality of the black truffles will largely depend on the locality from which the product was grown.
Some of the most prized types are the ones with a fine black flavor and texture, those that contain a medium flavor and those which give off a large amount of undertones. Interestingly, this preference for certain flavors can be determined not by color but by the distance between the outer edges of the caps.
One of the most sought after black truffle salt is one that has a larger central area than its outer edge. The central area is smaller than the edges, giving the salt a substantial depth in flavor. The mixture of high and low points does not affect the taste, though.
But where the pure black truffle salt is concerned, it is only once a person has tasted the product that they can decide whether it is to their liking. This is because different varieties of mushrooms can give each individual a different experience.
For example, some organic black truffles contain a definite undertone of flavorsome earth, while others may be slightly more bitter. Many people find that the middle types of mushroom are more tasty, however.
So if you have never tried the different types of mushroom products, why not give them a try? It's a great way to gain some knowledge about the various types of mushrooms, and also a great treat to your taste buds.