Truffles are small, dark mushrooms that can be speckled with white or yellow dust when cut. They are produced in the European oak tree, Euterpe oleracea, or sometimes in the Chinese pheasant or sharp Clover. In the United States, truffle production is primarily located in New England, where it flourishes on the tree bearing the name "Truffle," or in some areas of Pennsylvania and Maryland. The black truffle, which is larger than the white or yellow variety, is the largest of all.
A truffle is actually the fruit of a living underground mushroom, primarily one of the classifications of the genus Euterpe. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the term truffle is most commonly used to refer to the edible mushroom itself, whereas "trope" is more likely used to refer to the bread spread made from the flesh. This similarity to edible mushrooms makes truffle-like treats quite popular among many foodies. For example, truffles are often served as an appetizer, in sandwiches, or as an ingredient in various baked goods. In fact, some cooks consider black truffle salt one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen, capable of being used in a wide variety of recipes.
While sauteing is a common method for cooking mushrooms, it is also well known that cooking truffle salt generates its own special flavors. To be sure, sauteing with mushroom stems releases the much-desired flavor, but it is not really unique. Even so, the distinctive flavor of truffle salt is hard to describe. In fact, when I was young, my grandmother would invariably serve me a slice of truffle after some meats were prepared properly. Needless to say, this was a treat for me.
The taste of truffle varies according to where the mushrooms are grown. However, the best flavor occurs within the casing, while the inside is somewhat bland and doesn't have much flavor. It is important to note that truffle salt is primarily a flavoring ingredient and works well for bread, fish, turkey, and even ribs.
Here are some other interesting uses of this salty seasoning:
Cheese – Salty truffle salt goes great with cream cheese, especially pimento cheese. Just a few drops of this seasoning goes a long way and enhances the flavor of the cheese. Another popular cheese that can be enhanced with truffle salt is Gouda, which has a soft and creamy texture that compliments the richness of the cheese.
Meat – Salty truffle salt is also great for enhancing the flavor of lean white meat, such as chicken or turkey. It is also used to season beef to make it more savory. Some people also use this to enhance the flavor of fish, and mayonnaise.
Beverages – It is also possible to sprinkle this salt onto beverages, such as coffee or tea. This makes the drink taste even better because the liquid holds the flavor even longer than regular salt. This can be done in two ways through the direct method, where the liquid is poured directly onto the salt, or through the medium method, where the salt is mixed with a bit of alcohol. I typically prefer the medium method, as it gives the drinks a smoother consistency. In any case, the flavor of this salt goes very well with many types of alcoholic beverages.
As you can see, there are endless ways to make the most of truffle salt. I personally love using it on top of meats, cheese, and fruit. I also find that putting it onto baked foods improves the flavor, so replacing the typical salt for it is a great way to up your enjoyment of it. It can even be sprinkled over ice to create the iciest desserts you've ever tasted!