Black truffle is actually the outer fruiting body of undercover ascomycete fungi, mostly one of the species of the genus Tuber which is commonly found in the soil around trees and other vegetation. Along with Tuber, several other genera of this fungi are also classed as black truffle fungi including Geopora, Peziza, Choiromyces, and more than a hundred other ones. They are also called black mold fungi for they have a black, slimy coating on their outer skin surface.
These fungi need moisture so they form a protective film on the outer surface of their fruiting bodies. This film keeps the moisture from building up inside and thus protecting the food from spoiling. Since the film also contains nitrogen salts which are essential for their growth, they prefer clay soils such as those found in coastal areas. As a result of their need for moisture, black truffles are related to sea salts and since ancient times, they have been used for curing. The ancient Egyptians even used them for healing wounds.
However, the popularity of black truffles greatly increased after 1820 when they were discovered in the French Jura Marsh. The main factor behind this discovery was the negative effect sea salts had on the health of some members of the French Royal Court. Thus, the fungus was first thought to have cured these persons by detoxifying their blood. Black truffles, therefore, gained a reputation for curing many negative effects of sea salts.
Another factor that made the black truffle sea salt very popular was its incomparable taste. They have a unique flavor that cannot be found in other types of food. The flavor is produced by the presence of a variety of yeast known as Clostridium Botulinum. This type of yeast is naturally found in seawater. When the salt is exposed to air, the Clostridium begins to grow and thus creates a tasty flavor. Because it is produced naturally in seawater, olive Morada tends to have the highest amount of this yeast and hence the salt can be called the "olive Morada salt" which literally means "sea salt with the flavor of olives".
Black truffle salt has a number of health benefits. Irrespective of its origin, this type of salt is completely natural and hence there are no side effects associated with its consumption. In fact, it has been proven that salt does help in reducing the risk of heart diseases. They are considered to be high in potassium content and thus can reduce water retention, lower blood pressure, improve digestion, lower cholesterol and increase energy levels.
It can also help in reducing skin problems and also helps in improving the condition of the teeth and gums. Irrespective of the origin, this salt can be used in a number of cooking recipes. For instance, black truffles are often used in cream sauce and also in puddings. When the unrefined form is consumed, it is considered to be healthier than any other form of refined sugar as it helps in reducing blood sugar levels and improving insulin response.
Along with the above-mentioned benefits, using black truffle salt in cooking helps in retaining the flavor of the dish. For instance, when using butter or shortening, the fats tend to break down and so do some of the flavors. However, if you use this salt in your cooking, the butter and shortening will stick to the surface and hence will maintain their original flavor. It will also help to add an extra layer of flavor to your scrambled eggs.
The sea salt has been a favorite of chefs for ages. It is no wonder that in various parts of the world, black truffle salt has been recognized as a fine cooking ingredient. Using it in your cooking will provide you with healthy, nutritional as well as extra flavorful dishes.