Truffle salt is a convenient and affordable way to get the flavor of truffles into a dish while also adding salt. Pasta and steaks, in particular, pair well with the earthy flavor. While it is easy to use and effective, it may not always be readily available. It can also be more expensive than regular salt. To replace it without undue expense, consider one of the truffle salt substitutes below.
Table of Contents
- Your best bet: Make your own truffle salt
- A decent second choice: Porcini salt
- In a pinch: Parmigiano reggiano
- Other alternatives
- Must-read related posts
Your best bet: Make your own truffle salt
Truffle salt is a less expensive way to add the truffle flavor to food since it does not require a lot of truffles to get the desired notes. It consists of salt infused with pungent, earthy truffle notes. The salt used is usually sea salt; it offers a bright, clean flavor without the mild bitterness that some people may taste in iodized salt.
Because it consists of two ingredients, truffle salt is an easy recipe to make. Simply shave your truffles with a microplane, place the thinly sliced truffles together with the salt in a food processor. Pulse to break the truffle shavings down and mix them with the salt.
Because of its intensity, truffles are a controversial ingredient. Not everyone enjoys its flavors, and not all of its fans enjoy its flavors in the same concentration. Making your own truffle salt allows you to control exactly how much truffle is added to the blend. Simply add truffles to sea salt until you reach your preferred level of truffle intensity.
A decent second choice: Porcini salt
Like truffles, porcini mushrooms can provide an earthy umami flavor that should work with most applications that would require truffle salt. Since porcini salt consists of two ingredients, it is just as simple as truffle salt. You can buy dried porcini mushrooms and blend them with sea salt to make your own porcini salt to suit your taste buds. Another option is to buy a pre-made porcini salt.
Porcini mushrooms are much less expensive than truffles, so it will cost much less to make your own flavored salt. Similarly, pre-made porcini salt is typically less expensive than truffle salt blends. Use porcini salt as an affordable truffle salt alternative on roasted vegetables and other savory applications that require truffle salt.
In a pinch: Parmigiano reggiano
Parmigiano Reggiano is a cheese produced from skimmed and partially skimmed milk and that is made in certain regions of Italy. It is not a fungus like truffles and porcini mushrooms; however, it does have the same earthy and umami notes that you get from those two truffle salt substitutes. Its strong flavors make it an excellent substitute for truffle salt that will complement many of the same ingredients.
Parmigiano Reggiano even has a strong salty note that makes it useful for providing a salty flavor. Other benefits come from the fact that Parmigiano Reggiano is extremely fragrant and can be grated or shaved onto food in much the same way that whole truffles would be.
Truffle oil is a finishing oil used in many dishes and can be made with different oils that have been infused with the flavor of truffles. Your options for a base oil include grapeseed oil, olive oil, or even canola oil. It is important to note that not all truffle oils are made from truffles. Some truffle oils are actually synthetic products formulated in laboratories. Even with truffle oils made from truffles, the flavors are not quite as complex as those from actual real truffles.
You may also find porcini mushroom oil available. This, too, can make a viable alternative to truffle salt in certain situations.