Truffles are tiny black gems found in cavities in the soil. The truffle is a type of fungi and they grow best in soil that is rich in minerals.
Early truffles were isolated in dark damp places. The root structure of a mushroom provides support for the soil, and the roots lock in moisture. Dirt is porous, so water can travel through it without entering the soil itself.
Early truffles could be found in very high concentrations and the only way to harvest them was by freezing. They would crumble to dust when they froze. This is not a viable method any longer, since science has discovered how to freeze the ground over which truffles grow.
The process of drying is the first step in growing truffles. The dryness forces the fungus to release its seed. As the seed releases spores, it makes it available to bacteria, which eat the truffle. The process takes time, but the truffles can be cured and kept for a long time.
Black truffle salt is grown in dry conditions, but with careful attention to soil conditions. As black truffles grow, they also eat dirt. If you don't want your truffles to become green, you have to wash them properly before you can use them. Keep a white cloth handy to wipe away excess soil as you wash the truffles.
Another way to grow truffles is by planting seeds in pots. Instead of choosing the exact truffle you want, find one variety that grows in a pot. Fill the pot with coarse sand and cover the truffle with more sand. Keep the truffle in this way for at least six months, during which time the soil around the truffle gets richer in minerals and the truffle becomes more compacted.
When the truffle grows to a certain size, the process is called "priming." Then the truffle is cured, much like beer is cured. The inside of the container must be tightly sealed, otherwise the black fungus will escape. After the curing is completed, place the container in a cold basement and wait a few months.
Black truffle salt is not easy to find, though. Since they grow in deep, dark places, they can be difficult to find. The most common way to get them is to buy them from a store that sells truffles.
While you can get black truffle salt from stores, the best way to get it is to grow it yourself. You can grow it anywhere where soil conditions are right for it. There are instructions for growing truffles from seeds in the books Mushroom Growers Handbook. The instructions are easy to follow and the books explain how to get the best results.
The initial step in growing your own truffles is to grow them from seeds. The seeds should be placed into containers made of fiber, such as jute or other similar materials. These are the same kinds of containers that are used to pack and ship foods. Grow the seeds in these and they will mature into truffles that have been dried.
The procedure for growing truffles with black truffle salt is almost the same as growing any other type of mushrooms. The only difference is the amount of time it takes. It takes about six months for truffles to mature to the point where they can be cured. Once they are cured, they stay that way.
The best way to make your own truffle salt is to use bags of un-processed truffles. When you grow the truffles, be sure to separate the ends from the stem. That way, the darker colored "tops" of the truffles remain on the bag, and the light ones are put on top.