Black truffles have become a delicacy for the gourmets and those that seek to enjoy exotic cuisine. A black truffle, also known as a sugared truffle, is a sugary fruiting body of an ascomycete, primarily one of four species of the family Subterranean Ascomycetes.
Sugaring, or the practice of grinding sugared truffles, has been around for thousands of years. In fact, the word "sugar" comes from the Italian "Sugar," which means "to sweeten." Some people view this practice as a ritualistic way of attracting prosperity is what is sought in sugaring.
Sugaring is done by grinding the sugary fruiting bodies of these fungi. The grinding of this body releases a pungent odor which is not pleasant but is quite acceptable for some. This smell, in fact, is not pleasant to everyone. To those that enjoy the sweet and sour taste of truffles, the pungent smell can be a pleasant, even desirable treat.
There are several methods of black truffling. In some cases, a person can buy the sugaring equipment needed to make this process quite simple. Others opt to make their own black truffles by soaking mushrooms in salted water in order to soften the tissue. In other cases, the fungus needs to be introduced to a solution of sugar and salt in order to ferment.
After soaking the mushrooms, the next step in making black truffles is grinding the body. This is a very common practice. The reason for this practice is that it is very time-consuming to prepare the mushroom for grinding. In many cases, the fungus is only ground during the fermentation stage. While it is possible to grind the fungi during storage in the refrigerator, most people do not bother since it takes so long to make their truffles.
Once the fungi have been ground into powder, they are packaged in a special container which is then covered with either sugar or salt. If using sugar, a mixture of one part white sugar to two parts salt is preferred. This is a popular method that people use for storing their truffles. This mixture can also be added to foods if they wish to keep them from becoming too old or mild. If using salt, however, it is often added before the mixture is placed in the storage container.
When used in cooking, the salt used will prevent the fresh ingredients from becoming spoiled or moldy because it will draw out any spores of the fungi. If using a salt solution, the container must be washed thoroughly prior to use to remove any spores. If using both salt and sugar, a clean dish is pre-arranged so that the mixture is allowed to cool prior to use.
Another practice is to grind the black truffle salt prior to use and then add the sugar after it has cooled. This will add to the flavor of the product.
Another practice that is gaining popularity is freezing the black truffles. This will ensure that they retain their freshness. This is an easy and effective way to preserve these fungi.
There are also methods by which the black truffles can be added to products like jams and jellies. This can be done easily using a mortar and pestle. A mixture of one part white sugar to two parts salt is recommended. After mixing it, the mixture can be spread onto a flat surface and allowed to set. It will harden as it hardens.
People also use dark chocolate to make their own black truffles. Some people even claim that it is healthier for them and can also be used as a snack.
These days, you can also purchase black truffle salt online from retailers. This can be purchased in packets, but the cost can be expensive. Another option is to make your own at home. You can purchase pre-packaged truffles or even make the mixture yourself.