Black truffles are not exactly a common flavor. The only black truffles available in the United States are grown in France, where they have been growing for centuries. Black truffle is actually the fruiting body of ascomycete fungi, mostly one of the two species of the genera Tuber and Geodia. Other genera of fungi that are considered truffles include Geopora, Tuber, Leucangium, and several others.
Ascomycetes grow on the decayed cells of trees and plant roots. These fungi break down and decay plant cell membranes, making them easy to harvest. This process of breakdown allows the ascomycus to secrete mucilage that when mixed with salts of sugar produces the black color. In nature, the ascomycs that grow on trees and plants are called Asparagus fungi. This type of fungi is not very difficult to grow in a laboratory, but when harvested, the growth cycle may be prolonged because the growing environment has to accommodate the fungus' reproductive cycle, which requires warm and moist conditions.
Black truffles that are harvested from the United States contain an enzyme that makes them extremely soft. The enzymes found in the truffles are different than those that make white truffles and black truffles. The enzymes that are found in black truffle sea salt are called Tinospora cordifolia. Because of these enzymes, the growth rate of ascomyces is significantly higher than that of other fungi. These sugars found in the truffles also speed up the growth process of the fungi, allowing them to multiply quickly.
Ascomyces that are harvested in the United States tend to come from areas of France and Spain. This is why the truffles that are available in the United States tend to have the highest concentration of sugar. Sugar in the truffles helps speed the growth and survival of the fungi. The reason why the ascomycs are so abundant is that they can reproduce as many as ten times more than other fungi.
Tinospora cordifolia can be used to produce the acid that is present in black truffles, called saccharin. This acid is used to make a thick paste that is applied to the truffles or eaten as a sweet treat. Because this acid is not too bitter, the paste can be eaten by humans but not animals.
Truffles have been used in many recipes for ages. Black truffles can be used in ice cream and sorbets, and they are often added to candies, cookies, and cakes. Many recipes also call for the addition of truffles to coffee and tea. Because of their ability to add a creamy texture to a dish, truffles can also be added to baked goods and other pasta and bread. It is not unusual for a dish to have two or more types of truffles in it at once.
Because they are rich in sugar, the black truffle salt adds a sweet, salty flavor to foods that can be used in a variety of dishes. For example, you can use it on pasta dishes to enhance the flavor of meats, cheese, or cream sauces.
Other uses of black truffles include garnishing cakes, cookies, and cupcakes, in place of white truffles that may not have had enough of one. They also add a delicious flavor to desserts, especially when added at the end of a recipe. The flavors in the truffles also enhance the sweetness of many fruits and vegetables.
When preparing the dish, salt should not be added until after the truffles have been sliced. The reason is that adding salt too soon after the truffles have been sliced will make them melt, rather than retaining their original texture and color.
Because of their high concentration of sugar, black truffles can be stored in airtight containers and should not be exposed to direct light. The heat of the light will cause them to fade and may cause them to split apart or split into smaller pieces instead of melting.
If truffles are being used for cooking or baking, they should be added right away, while they are still hot, rather than allowing them to cool set. If using in cooking, it is also recommended that they are used in an air-tight container to help maintain their original appearance.