Truffle salt has become a popular ingredient in many culinary dishes. This is particularly true in the UK where it has been a long-time favourite for cooking and baking. In the US and other countries, truffle salt has only recently become popular. It wasn’t until more recently that we were exposed to the real thing. Now we can get freshly ground truffle salt in different flavours and we are learning to enjoy the wonderful salty taste. But why exactly does this salt create such fabulous flavour?
The real truffle salt has a very distinctive flavor that is unique to this type of salt. Unlike regular table or store bought salts, truffle salt is a mixture of various salts including real edible seaweeds. While closing in an air-tight container, the real truffle salt gradually permeates through the fine crystals of salt, delivering that heavenly earthy flavor to your food.
As well as providing the distinctive salty taste, this salt also adds a great deal of flavour to your food. You will find that it has a slightly bitter flavor that is quite strong, but it blends well with many different foods. These days you’ll even find black truffles, which add a deeper, more intense shade of flavor to your food.
One of the things that people enjoy most about truffle salt is the intensity of the flavor. If you put plain old sea salt on a piece of dry bread, the flavor will be much smaller. If you put a teaspoonful of truffle salt on a piece of hot fresh bread, the flavor is almost unbearable. It is this intensity of flavor, however, that makes truffle salt such a highly sought after commodity. Not only are consumers looking for ways to intensify the flavor of their food, but they are also searching for ways to make truffles more palatable.
So how exactly does it get its distinctive, salty flavor? The answer lies partly in the nature of the mineral itself. Sea salt and table salt are very similar in many ways, but the molecular structure is very different. Sea salt has much more water in its molecules than does table salt. This means that the minerals that make up the bulk of truffle salt have to be processed somewhat differently. Particles of the mineral can be “simply evaporated”, or the crystals can be “crushed” so that they have tiny crystal sizes.
There are two methods that can be used to make truffle salt. The first is called “chemical ageing”. By adding certain substances to the crystals, their chemical properties change and become shiny. This method is not without controversy, as some feel that it degrades the quality of the truffles. Others, however, note that the shiny appearance is what really draws people to truffle salt.
Another way to make truffles is by using a method called “salt curing”. As with chemical ageing, the substances that are added to the truffles are changed by the salts into ions and atoms, which start to look like their much more famous edible counterparts. Because these ions and atoms are different, no food can get by them, and the truffles begin to lose their crunch as the particles near the surface of the crystals start to get smaller. This method can take a while longer than chemical ageing, but is much less messy. Salt curing truffle salt has a higher fat content than most sea salts, and is thus a more desirable product.
In summary, truffle salt has an unmistakable nutty, salty, fresh flavor that’s hard to beat. It’s also got a chewy texture, which is what makes this type of truffle so delicious. It goes great on breads, vegetables, salads, and just about anything else you’d put truffle salt on. Shop online or in specialty stores for good quality truffle salt; the next time you’re out, why not head to your local spa and treat yourself to a nice truffle massage?