Edward Albee once said that you have got to have a swine to show you where the truffles are. You might think that this statement is a funny joke but it is very real. Pigs are used to unearth the truffle, simply because the truffles depends on animals to eat them as a mean of reproduction, as well as because pigs have a specific sense of smell that is attracted by truffles under the earth. You can buy black truffle salt in a supermarket today, but the process in which it comes in a plastic packaging might be unfamiliar to you.
It is also though that the truffle aroma has a smell of a male pig musk, or a sex hormone. This is why all truffle pigs are female, as they are trying to ingest the scent of a sex hormone in order to attract males.
Female pigs are also very suitable for rooting the ground as they have sharp hooves and are generally strong. It is however, a bit risky to use the pigs for this process, as they are known to eat the truffles very fast when finding them, so the hunters must always be cautious that the pig do not gobble down these luxury gourmet items.
Nowadays, specifically trained dogs are used in order to track down and dig up the truffles. It is easy to conclude that dogs will rather have a treat from their owner than a truffle they have minimum interest in.
Cultivation of truffles has been partially successful recently; however, fresh, wild truffles discovered by hunters are still a lot more valuable than the experimental ones.
Black truffles are after white ones, the most prized and valuable type of truffle available. The Perigord area in France is particularly famous for black truffle hunting.
Once dug up, pieces of black truffles are laced with sea salt to create black truffle salt, an utmost luxurious ingredient.