The Health Benefits of Italian Black Truffle Salt
A black truffle, or agaricus agalatica, is a mushroom that has an unpleasant, black, sappy, or grayish exterior, which often develops in damp soil where conditions are moist but not completely saturated. These mushrooms are also commonly known as black truffle. The word “truffle” comes from the German verb truche, meaning “truffle.” In British English, however, the word tends to be used instead to refer to any kind of fungus, including mold, algae, and other forms of microorganism.
A truffle, also known as agaricus agalatica, is a fruiting body of a small, nearly blind, underground, filaments-like structure, primarily one of the species of the genus Tuber. In addition to Tuber, several other genera of microscopic fungi are also classified as truffles, including Geopora, Peziza, Choiromyces, Leucangium, and more than a hundred others. All these fungi belong to the family Asdepiaceae, which also includes mints, nuts, and cinnamon. In fact, the black truffle salt was once considered a cure for syphilis and other venereal diseases. It has also been credited with healing cuts and bruises and has been found useful in the treatment of skin infections, such as yeast infections and athlete’s foot. Its unsullied, salty taste is also said to be good for the stomach.
In France, where the truffle has been a symbol of luxury for centuries, it became a well-known icon of good taste, as evidenced by the long history of use as a curing salt. A mixture of black truffle salt and lemon juice supposedly prevented fermentation in wine, thereby preserving it for much longer and increasing its value. Another long time favorite in Europe is Camphor, another member of the Asdepiaceae family. Although Camphor is used more commonly as an aromatic spice, some choose to include it as a seasoning for their food. Some chefs have added it to tomatoes to make a good home-cooked tomato flavoring.
For years, even though Camphor was seldom used as a seasoning for food, the beautiful black truffle salt soon became a highly desired product. Today, there are many different varieties of black truffle salt on the market. Some are even more expensive than the black variety. Most varieties are high in magnesium, manganese, and potassium, and have a smooth, gray colored surface. The texture can vary from very coarse to a bit soft, depending on the manufacturer.
Truffle oil, when distilled and made into a simple table salt, is used as an additive to many of today’s favorite dishes. In fact, truffle oil is often used in place of vegetable oil in many baking recipes, such as breads and cookies. Many people also add it to fish and chicken dishes or meatloaf, a treat that is enjoyed by many people around the world. Its versatility makes black truffle salt a long way into the cooking scene, where it continues to be enjoyed.
As with many things in life, moderation is key in maintaining the health benefits of this versatile salt. While the rich taste of Italian black truffle salt is undeniable, it is not something you should overdo on. When purchasing this salt, be sure to follow the directions on the package, which indicate the correct amount to purchase. When the correct amount is received, this versatile salt will surely have a place in many of your favorite dishes.