Truffle Salt: An Affordable Truffle Alternative

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Truffle salt is a little different from most spice blends in that it has only been around for a few years. The combination of truffles with sea salt was first marketed by an Italian company called Casina Rossa in 2006. With the Casino Rossa version of the blend, the truffles come from Abruzzo in Italy and the sea salt comes from Sicily. Unlike other affordable substitutes for truffles (such as some truffle oils), truffle salt uses real truffles rather than a synthetic alternative.

Of course, neither component of the spice blend is new. Truffles are found within the roots of various trees, including those of the chestnut and hazel trees. Consumption of truffles dates back to the Ancient Egyptians, who prized them. They were consumed by both Greeks and Romans as well. Truffles were viewed as highly nutritious by both civilizations. The flavor and aroma were also considered to be exotic, which made them more valuable among wealthier classes.

Consumption of truffles would come to a temporary halt during the middle ages as the church felt that they were created by the devil; this opinion was due to their aroma and flavor. They would make a comeback during the Renaissance as a result of Louis XIV’s enjoyment of them. He would attempt to cultivate them without success; however, his fascination with them would make them an immensely respected ingredient in Europe.

Truffle production would suffer a decline in the years following the first World War as a result of the destruction of the rural areas from which it was harvested. The decline would continue until the 1960s. Truffles continue to be a delicacy today.

The sea salt component of truffle salt is arguably the most important spice in the history of mankind. It is consumed in all societies and is used because of nutritional necessity in addition to the fact that it is crucial for enhancing the flavor of food.

Truffle salt flavor profile

The adjective most often used to describe the flavor of truffles is earthy. Truffles bring an intense earthiness and an umami note to the foods in which they are used. Truffle salt also provides this note. Of course, it also brings the flavor of salt.

Health benefits of truffle salt

Truffle salt is not a good source of any minerals or vitamins except for sodium, which is necessary in small amounts but can be harmful when consumed in excess. While truffles do contain minerals, the amount in a serving of truffle salt is not enough to make it beneficial. Along with the sodium, you will get trace amounts of iron and calcium.

Common uses

Truffle salt allows you to enjoy the taste and aroma of truffles without having to spend as much money. This is important given the fact that truffles can be very expensive. Truffle salt is tremendously versatile in that you can use it in a large number of the dishes that require salt; however, truffle salt shines against blander backgrounds. Use it to season fries, avocados and scrambled eggs. Still other uses include sprinkling it on popcorn or in hummus. Use it as a finishing salt on steaks and roasted vegetables.