Black truffles are the fruit-bearing body of a microscopic ascomycetous fungus, mainly one of the species of the family Tuberculata. Other genera of this fungal fungus also include Geopora, Pezira, Choiromycota, Leukotylla, and several others. These organisms are usually found in warm, moist areas, although they can occur in cold, dry conditions as well.
Ascomycetous fungi grow on plant leaves, stems, roots, bark, and stems. Their favorite host plants are fruits such as melons, grapes, apples, and figs. These fungi generally feed on the sugars present in the fruits. As they eat, the fungus breaks down the plant material, leaving behind a small, silky white powdery residue. The resulting truffles, which have a firm consistency, are usually about five millimeters long.
Black truffles are harvested by picking off the seeds. The seeds are then dried for several weeks and then used as a salt. The dry, powdery residue from the seeds is known as truffle salt, which is often added to other foods to improve their taste.
Truffles belong to the Ascomycetous Fungi. These fungi live in dark, damp places, and as a result, are sometimes difficult to discover. However, the characteristic appearance of these fungi makes them easy to recognize, and they are also commonly found in soil.
When the fungus is growing in soil, it produces millions of black, waxy, fungal spores, which are carried away by wind or air. These spores eventually land on dead plant material and begin to grow. These fungi reproduce rapidly by producing spores, which eventually become the next crop of truffles.
Black truffles do not ferment (ferment means the process of converting sugar to alcohol) so their taste must be enjoyed fresh, even if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They can, however, be kept at room temperature by placing them in a refrigerator for several days.
One way to enjoy the rich flavor of black truffles is to make black truffle salt with white truffles. By combining the two, the original salt and the newly harvested truffles make a delicious, salty, and flavorful cocktail. Another method is to add lemon juice and water to the salt to create a drink that can be drunk hot.
Although black truffle sea salt are the only edible variety of this fungus, they are also used in traditional Chinese medicine. This type of fungus has been used for centuries for the treatment of a variety of disorders, such as rheumatism, arthritis, and other joint pain. There are no known negative side effects, although some people believe they can cause bad breath. Black truffles also are a popular ingredient in Chinese herbal medicine, as well as in some gels, oils, and pastes. Because they are so high in sugar content, they are also added to some chocolates and other sweets.
Truffles are also the preferred ingredient in Italian pizzas. In fact, in Italy, the word "truffle" is actually used to describe the pizza dough. When making a truffle crust, it is important not to over-fill the pan, as they tend to shrink when exposed to air.
The history of truffles goes far back into history. According to legend, Emperor Nero (the Roman ruler) used truffles as a part of his army's weapons. Legend has it that he placed a piece of truffles into the mouths of his soldiers to keep them warm during battle.
Black truffles are grown in warm climates and in dark, damp areas such as in the Mediterranean and Southern France. It is not unusual for them to grow in soil that is rich in iron and copper. Iron is the major constituent of the mineral sulfide, a compound that is responsible for the rusting of metal. Copper is the metal that gives the steel its yellowish color.
Truffles do not ferment when stored in a cool area. Therefore, they are very resistant to oxygenation. When freshly picked, they can remain good for a long time without spoiling. Some people believe that they last longer than wine, especially champagne.