A black truffle, also known as Tuberculinum, is the fruiting reproductive body of a small ascomycete organism, primarily one of the families of the genus Subterraneanes. There are also a number of other genera of subterranean fungi known as truffles, including Geopora, Tubercula, Pezira, Leucengrae, and others.
In North America and Europe, most truffles come from a variety of locations. In the United States, black truffles can be found in the mountains of North and South Carolina, in the southwestern United States, and on the island of Madagascar, among other places. The most famous truffle variety in the United States is the Tuberculinum species, which is the most sought after. Tuberculins are generally the color of black with a dark red center and are popular for their unique characteristics, including their ability to withstand some of the most severe cold and dry conditions.
Although Tuberculinum species are found mostly in the Southern United States and parts of Africa, the more exotic varieties are now being harvested in areas such as Egypt and Madagascar. There are even some black truffles that are produced in China.
Traditionally, black truffles are prepared by using a brine solution and then drying the flesh. This method preserves the delicate flavor and texture of these fungi. The most common types of black truffles used for culinary purposes today include:
While black truffles are often used in place of saffron in Middle Eastern dishes, they are also an important part of Asian cooking, especially in oriental soups and stews. In traditional Chinese cuisine, black truffles are used to make "black dragon" soup, which is said to possess aphrodisiac qualities. and is a common ingredient in desserts.
Black truffles are also used to flavor ice cream, sorbets, and sherbets and are a popular addition to many fruit desserts. They are also a key ingredient in making white chocolate and are a good addition to many drinks, including hot cocoa, chocolate, chai tea, and latte drinks, and chocolate milk chocolate.
As a garnish, black truffles are often added to salad dressings, soups, and other dishes. Black truffle salt can also be used as a decorative garnish in food preparation such as on top of fresh fruit and vegetable garnishes or used to sprinkle on top of meats, fish, or poultry as a garnish.
Some people choose to use black truffle sea salt in cooking to season a dish such as salads and meatloaves or to season desserts such as pies and cookies. It's also a popular garnish in Japanese and Chinese recipes and can be used in Asian fusion foods, such as Chinese dumplings and soups, or as a topping for desserts. Although the main ingredient of truffles is black truffle, you'll also find many people adding various types of other ingredients to the mix, including nuts, herbs, berries, mushrooms, and herbs. to create different taste combinations.
One of the best ways to use black truffle salt is in salads. It's a versatile garnish and can be used in place of dressing, as a thickener, or as a salt substitute in dishes that don't call for traditional salt or other table salts. Using the salt in place of sugar will make your favorite salad dressing richer and more flavorful, without the heavy saltiness that many artificial substitutes can add.
Many people use a combination of black truffle salt and horseradish in place of the traditional dill pickle relish in a variety of recipes. This mixture can also be used in place of mustard in pickles, spreads, and marinades, or in place of the tart dressing you find in some sandwiches.
You can also make your own black truffles by combining one tablespoon of ground black truffles with one teaspoon of dried fennel flakes to make a delicious, rich, salty treat. In a small container, add one tablespoon of vinegar, one tablespoon of black truffles, and one tablespoon of fennel flakes. Store in the refrigerator for up to two days and serve at dinner parties or gatherings.
Black truffles make a great ingredient in any dish, including baked goods and desserts. They can be used as a garnish, on their own, as the main ingredient, or as a topping on many different dishes.