The most popular of all truffles are undoubtedly the black truffle. Black truffle is simply the fruiting body of an ascomycete subterranean fungus, primarily one of several species in the genus Tuber. Other genera of mushrooms are also known as truffles, including Geopora, Tuberomyces, Leucangia, and many others. These mushrooms grow all over the world, from Europe to Asia and from North America to South America, but the ones that come from France and Italy are particularly prized.
In recent years, truffles have become popular as snacks, but they were previously thought to have no culinary value. Today, however, they can be used as a dessert ingredient, and black truffle salt is an essential ingredient in cooking them into a fine, luscious treat. The variety of truffles on offer has made them extremely popular as a food but also gives them a unique flavor and aroma that are not shared with any other foodstuff. Truffles are generally small and round, but they can also be oval, long, or even triangular in shape, although the roundest are usually considered to be the tastiest.
Traditionally, the truffle was eaten with a dish called a "tartare" or a dish called a "tart". Tartare was basically a mixture of wine and eggs, but nowadays it is sometimes combined with cream cheese and spices to make a more substantial dish, which is a far cry from the simple meal that it was once.
Traditionally, truffles are eaten by their own weight. This is a tradition that is still carried out today, as a way of showing respect for the truffles, as well as because of its simple pleasure value. Some people like to eat them whole, while others may even add truffle salt to their dishes to increase the richness of the truffles. There is a great deal of debate as to which is the best way to eat them: by themselves or with other foods.
Truffles are not to be eaten raw, they should be kept cool and stored in an airtight container. They can be eaten cold or in the morning, or when they are at room temperature, but the best way to eat them is to mix them with fresh fruit and then enjoy them at room temperature. The black truffle, for example, makes an excellent accompaniment to fresh berries and fresh figs or citrus.
Traditionally, truffles can be prepared in different ways, using truffle salt or truffle juice. In general, one would mix one tablespoon of salt with two to four tablespoons of lemon juice and then squeeze the truffles to produce a nice syrupy consistency, using a fork to spread the juice over the surface and then leaving them to dry overnight. This method is said to retain a good deal of the original flavor.
One can also freeze the truffles to make them appear to have a longer shelf life. This is often done by using a strainer on which they are placed in an ice cube tray, covered with wax paper. It is important to make sure that the truffles are entirely dry before using, as otherwise the salt crystals will melt and ruin the taste. After having frozen them overnight, a layer of mineral oil is added to the top, allowing them to harden and solidify once more. When this is completed, they can be stored for a few days and served as truffle salt.
Truffles are also an ideal way of making gifts, as they can come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and flavors. When making the gift baskets for friends and family, it is important to ensure that they are of a uniform size, so that they will all fit into the basket. This can also save you time in sorting through all the various truffles in order to find something suitable.