Many consumers are concerned with black truffle salt being fake. For this to truly be true, there needs to be authentic kosher sea salt with genuine, dry chunks of black truffle inside. If the black truffle salt you buy does not have dry chunks of truffle in it (actual truffles), it's not an authentic black truffle sea salt at all. Here's why that's the case and how you can tell if the salt you're using is indeed made with truffles.
Truffles are made from different mushrooms, including chanterelle mushroom, caraway, or pheasant. Only the smaller cap is used in cooking, while the larger one, or chalcedony, is used for baking and seasoning. All of these mushrooms contain a chemical known as carotene, which gives black truffle salt its reddish color. Most sea salts have this chemical as coloring, but not all. It's important that black truffle salt has the correct chemical make-up if it's going to achieve its highest quality and potency.
The best black truffle sea salt will also have a high amount of iodine. Iodine is necessary for good human health, and when dealing with edible matters, iodine is even more essential. Earthy flavors are achieved because the fungi growing on the mushrooms contain it, as well. And because salts are naturally earthy, black truffle salt is no exception.
However, just because iodine is present does not mean you're getting true, authentic kosher or earthy flavors from the salt. That would be impossible due to the method the salt is prepared. Black truffles are usually cured with an electrical current. Although not exactly "smelling", it does leave behind an earthy aroma. To get the real flavor, choose a black truffle sea salt that contains no curing oils, such as the ones used for rosemary or thyme.
There are some things you can do to ensure you get true kosher black truffle salt, however. Some manufacturers will add the kosher symbol to their products. This symbol is simply a garnish and is not considered a flavor contributor to the actual salt. You'll generally find this with Italian sausages since many Italian manufactures include this addition. Because of the process that the salt is prepared with, only a few flavors are extracted from the truffles, so the manufacturers must use a higher percentage of this fake spice to fool consumers.
However, you may be able to tell it's real from just smelling it. The aroma is very distinct. It has that earthy, smoky, or herbal smell of a forest when it's fresh. It's one of those aromas that seem to last all day, and it doesn't quickly fade away like other types of salt have a tendency to.
I love Italian food, especially pasta, and I couldn't wait to discover more about truffled sea salts. After my friend showed me a YouTube video of them, I was hooked. Now I have a whole drawer full of containers that I've bought to use for storing my Italian ingredients. Every time I need a savory ingredient, I can go to my spice cabinet and pull out a few bags of this salty wonder. Sometimes my husband even brings some of these black truffle salts in his office when he's watching TV.
If you want to impress your friends, family members, or even your boss, try using sea salts instead of regular table salt. They'll think you're a genius. These black truffle salt products are widely available at online retailers, and sometimes in online grocery stores. Make sure to buy bulk to save even more money.