The Truffle Underground
Beneath the gloss of star chefs and crystal-laden tables, the truffle supply chain is touched by theft, secrecy, sabotage, and fraud. Farmers patrol their fields with rifles and fear losing trade secrets to spies. Hunters plant poisoned meatballs to eliminate rival truffle-hunting dogs. Naive buyers and even knowledgeable experts are duped by liars and counterfeits. This exposé documents the dark, sometimes deadly crimes at each level of the truffle’s path from ground to plate, making sense of an industry that traffics in scarcity, seduction, and cash.

The Truffle Underground Details

TitleThe Truffle Underground
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 4th, 2019
PublisherClarkson Potter Publishers
ISBN-139780451495693
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Crime, True Crime, Food and Drink, Food, History, Mystery

The Truffle Underground Review

  • Randal White
    January 1, 1970
    Who knew????Who knew that a simple fungus could lead to assaults, the murder of dogs, robberies, fraud, and more! A mushroom, highly sought after by chefs all over the world, causes untold damages to people all over Italy and France. In fairness, growing up in Wisconsin, morel mushrooms were the "truffle" of our time. People guarded morel "honey holes" with a great deal of secrecy. But I never heard of anything like the extreme behaviors the author documents. From the simplest farmer, to multi-n Who knew????Who knew that a simple fungus could lead to assaults, the murder of dogs, robberies, fraud, and more! A mushroom, highly sought after by chefs all over the world, causes untold damages to people all over Italy and France. In fairness, growing up in Wisconsin, morel mushrooms were the "truffle" of our time. People guarded morel "honey holes" with a great deal of secrecy. But I never heard of anything like the extreme behaviors the author documents. From the simplest farmer, to multi-national corporations, everyone involved in the pursuit of truffles seems to go a bit wacky. Granted, there's a good deal of money to be made, but what in the world gets into people? The author has written an intriguing look into the truffle world. I found myself just shaking my head at some of the antics he describes. It's really too bad. While I think truffles are okay, I also think that they are highly overrated. Just another status symbol for people to hold over each other's heads, like who has the biggest and best boat, car, or the rarest wine.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.A thrilling journey through the hidden underworld of the world's most prized luxury ingredient. Beneath the gloss of star chefs and crystal-laden tables, the truffle supply chain is touched by theft, secrecy, sabotage, and fraud. Farmers patrol their fields with rifles and fear losing trade I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.A thrilling journey through the hidden underworld of the world's most prized luxury ingredient. Beneath the gloss of star chefs and crystal-laden tables, the truffle supply chain is touched by theft, secrecy, sabotage, and fraud. Farmers patrol their fields with rifles and fear losing trade secrets to spies. Hunters plant poisoned meatballs to eliminate rival truffle-hunting dogs. Naive buyers and even knowledgeable experts are duped by liars and counterfeits. Deeply reported and elegantly written, this page-turning exposé documents the dark, sometimes deadly crimes at each level of the truffle’s path from ground to a plate, making sense of an industry that traffics in scarcity, seduction, and cash. Through it all, a question lingers: What, other than money, draws people to these dirt-covered knobs?I am a total food addict but truffles do not float my boat: I prefer a good cremini mushroom, truth be told. (Chocolate truffles are a whole other story!!!!!) The book was fascinating and I learned a lot about truffles and how they are harvested and distributed/sold. Truffles are a weird subject to read about (being honest) but I really enjoyed the book and I think any foodie would as well.As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄
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  • Megon
    January 1, 1970
    This book was great, and it may have ruined me. It was very well written and gave plenty of juicy tidbits and insight into an industry that I never thought much about. It was entertaining and educational at the same time. I loved the history as well as the crime. If I could have wished for anything it would be for there to be more of it, and maybe some better advice about getting the real thing. I've never had a fresh truffle, but I enjoyed my truffle salt until I found out it was probably fake.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Not as compelling or narratively driven as, say, The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, but a totally fascinating look at how the truffle industry is a total mess from top to bottom. Who knew?
  • Idarah
    January 1, 1970
    Review can be found here: https://ginghampanda.blogspot.com/201...
  • Sloane Mcnulty
    January 1, 1970
    So far finding that you don’t need to love truffles OR true crime to enjoy this book. Ryan Jacobs hits the perfect balance between giving you context to get where he’s taking you and keeping you on the edge of your seat. Can’t wait to continue reading!
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  • Sandra Fallico
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome book.....well organized, well written, loved the science, the mystery , the characters.....appreciated the education and the flow from start to finish. I was initially dubious as to what there could possibly be to write about truffles but ultimately found it fascinating and could not put it down.....Recommend it for a fun educational attention grabbing read. And of course, a must read for foodies, which I am not;)
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  • Evy
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars,Content warning for cruelty to (and death of) dogs in this book. It's discussed in a very clinical, detached sort of way, but yeah the truffle business includes people sabotaging other people's truffle-hunting dogs in awful ways :( not discussed in my review, but occurs in book.This book is basically all about truffles. Not the chocolate ones, but the fungus truffles that grow underground and when shaved over food make it suddenly cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.I learned a lot a 3.5 stars,Content warning for cruelty to (and death of) dogs in this book. It's discussed in a very clinical, detached sort of way, but yeah the truffle business includes people sabotaging other people's truffle-hunting dogs in awful ways :( not discussed in my review, but occurs in book.This book is basically all about truffles. Not the chocolate ones, but the fungus truffles that grow underground and when shaved over food make it suddenly cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.I learned a lot about truffles. Like hey, if you've had truffle oil, or truffle-anything at a cheap consumer level... *surprise*, it was probably mostly chemicals and like .001% truffle. Also, somehow I didn't know that Oprah is apparently obsessed with truffles?Yeah, the truffle facts were lots of fun and very interesting!But, I did struggle a lot with the structure of this book. It is not written chronologically, jumping from like the 1700's to present to the 1960's and back to the present within a single chapter sometimes... And then does it all over again in the next chapter. This structure was hard on audio, and I often found myself thinking "wait, how'd we get to X time period?" or struggling to tell whether events being described were current events still practiced, or things that had happened in the past. I had trouble figuring out what the book was trying to lead to or what story it was trying to tell, since it jumped around and backtracked so much.Finally, like 80% of the way through, I figured out that it's structured sort of land-to-table, basically--so it starts with collection, and then distribution, and finally there's cooking and eating. If I'd had the print book in front of me with a table of contents, this structure would probably have been obvious, and that would have helped immensely to alleviate my confusion. But alas.My other complaint is that I also couldn't keep track of people. The book doesn't follow any single story thread, but instead jumps around so much, and people sometimes just pop in for a chapter, but sometimes come in and out, but I don't know, they all blurred together and I couldn't even follow who Sabatino was or what his role was, just that he was important. I guess I'm stupid haha. Eventually I just gave up on following the people stuff, the smuggling, the companies, whatever.So, I learned a lot more about truffles themselves and how truffles are smuggled, than about the various, numerous, many figures who play a role in all this.I think this book is trying to sell itself as "true crime" in the style of The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, but that book was a lot more compelling as a "crime" book, for me, because it had a single central figure and a single central crime. I think The Truffle Underground would've worked better for me if it either actually had a more central crime story for the "true crime," or if it were instead written and presented as just a micro-history. But overall I enjoyed this and would certainly recommend it, especially if you're into niche micro-histories. I learned an awful lot about a food I'll probably never even taste for real.
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  • Alysa H.
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating and sometime shocking exposé of the truffle industry, from the hunt to the plate. Necessary reading for all gourmands both true and wannabe. Taking a closer look at the history, trajectory, and current global state of truffle consumption is something that most people would never think to do, falling as we all have under the spell of marketing and/or deliciousness.While Jacobs' writing occasionally tries too hard to create poignancy in meaningless moments, and some of his more trans A fascinating and sometime shocking exposé of the truffle industry, from the hunt to the plate. Necessary reading for all gourmands both true and wannabe. Taking a closer look at the history, trajectory, and current global state of truffle consumption is something that most people would never think to do, falling as we all have under the spell of marketing and/or deliciousness.While Jacobs' writing occasionally tries too hard to create poignancy in meaningless moments, and some of his more transparent attempts to distance himself socioeconomically from his interview subjects are unnecessary because his presentation already seems objective -- at least when he sets out as a novice to the truffle underground -- he generally hits the mark. Jacobs brings the reader to romanticized places, mainly in France and Italy, but then goes about developing a different picture than the one today's companies would like you to see (and it would have been really nice to get a whole additional chapter on, say, Chinese or Croatian truffle businesses). His interview subjects, with their own words, tend to either help or convict themselves. Sometimes they do both at the same time. Such is the duality of our love for the humble truffle.** I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley **
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  • Leith Devine
    January 1, 1970
    I love truffles, and never realized the journey the truffle took to get on my plate! Assault, robbery and even murder (of dogs). What a fascinating story this is. I had read that many of the flavorings we think are real truffles are actually chemically-enhanced, like fake truffle oil, and after reading about the staggering amounts of money involved in the truffle trade I will pay much closer attention to what is a real and what is fake.Thanks to Crown Publishing/Clarkson Potter and NetGalley for I love truffles, and never realized the journey the truffle took to get on my plate! Assault, robbery and even murder (of dogs). What a fascinating story this is. I had read that many of the flavorings we think are real truffles are actually chemically-enhanced, like fake truffle oil, and after reading about the staggering amounts of money involved in the truffle trade I will pay much closer attention to what is a real and what is fake.Thanks to Crown Publishing/Clarkson Potter and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • SouthernTodayGoneTomorrow
    January 1, 1970
    Well written and captivating, a history that not many people even consider.Truffles are a flavor that is becoming better known today than it was 30 years ago when only the rich could afford it. The history behind this interesting flavor is unique and interesting.A good novel for anyone interested. Well written.
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  • Collin Huber
    January 1, 1970
    I love books that tackle a niche topic. I've read works devoted entirely to subjects like salt, tie fishing, and now truffles. Ryan Jacobs invites readers into a fascinating journey through the shadow world of the truffle enterprise. As a trained journalist, he chases his leads with diligence while writing with flair and wit. I found it fascinating from beginning to end.
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  • Aaron Shulman
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent, deeply reported expose of an industry I knew nothing about. Masquerading as a deep-dive into a culinary delicacy, it is really a non-fiction morality tale about capitalism and consumerism.
  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    Holy shit this book blew me away. And it cured my eczema. Move over 3 wolf-moon t-shirt, Jacobs' prose is all I need. READ IT!
  • Karin
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you GR for a free copy of The Truffle Underground,something I would pass up in a bookstore.However it was a real education to learn about how these things are grown and the violence associated with the trade.While truffles are beyond my budget now I'm really curious if the taste is really worth all that
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  • Summer Brennan
    January 1, 1970
    Holy hell, this is a good book. With prose that is often as seductive as the elusive fungus itself, The Truffle Underground transports the reader to an intoxicating world of aromatic forests and international intrigue, full of passion, promise and danger, as gripping as any HBO prestige drama. This impressively researched and beautifully written debut is a must-read for anyone interested in how our food makes its way to our plate from its origin in the wild world. I found myself reading it far i Holy hell, this is a good book. With prose that is often as seductive as the elusive fungus itself, The Truffle Underground transports the reader to an intoxicating world of aromatic forests and international intrigue, full of passion, promise and danger, as gripping as any HBO prestige drama. This impressively researched and beautifully written debut is a must-read for anyone interested in how our food makes its way to our plate from its origin in the wild world. I found myself reading it far into the night, thinking again and again, 'just a few pages more'...
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  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    In this book, Ryan Jacobs does a deep dive into the secrets of the Truffle Trade. One of the most expensive delicacies in the world, the trade is surprisingly old fashioned for our modern world. Jacobs takes us from the cultivation and hunting of the truffle, through the middlemen, and into the restaurants where it is sold. And each step of the story is riddled with crime and secrecy. Jacobs brings the drama and intrigue of this illustrious trade to life, with a style of writing reminiscent to a In this book, Ryan Jacobs does a deep dive into the secrets of the Truffle Trade. One of the most expensive delicacies in the world, the trade is surprisingly old fashioned for our modern world. Jacobs takes us from the cultivation and hunting of the truffle, through the middlemen, and into the restaurants where it is sold. And each step of the story is riddled with crime and secrecy. Jacobs brings the drama and intrigue of this illustrious trade to life, with a style of writing reminiscent to a noir novel. This is how I want all my true crime books to read. Each person interviewed and anecdote told is captivating, and the whole book highlights the mystery and intrigue of the truffle -who knew a fungus could be so interesting?
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  • Mac
    January 1, 1970
    A medieval undertaking in a smartphone world. Oprah travels with truffle salt. Season is mid-Nov until March. French laws that before said that, like mushrooms, at least 10 kilos had to be stolen to be actionable, we’re changed to a single truffle. French truffle farmer Rambaud sentenced to 8 years for killing Pardo, a Roma thief and informer for policeman Faugier. French farmer Talon’s pig in 1818 found a truffle. Talon was collecting acorns to plant oak trees on worthless scrubland. He was the A medieval undertaking in a smartphone world. Oprah travels with truffle salt. Season is mid-Nov until March. French laws that before said that, like mushrooms, at least 10 kilos had to be stolen to be actionable, we’re changed to a single truffle. French truffle farmer Rambaud sentenced to 8 years for killing Pardo, a Roma thief and informer for policeman Faugier. French farmer Talon’s pig in 1818 found a truffle. Talon was collecting acorns to plant oak trees on worthless scrubland. He was the first successful truffle farmer, but soon others who’d observed his planting copied. By mid-1800s, truffles had manic consumption in fine restaurants using Talon’s cultivation method in southern France. 1500 tons/year. Then war and disease and climate decimated the crop. In mid-1970s, France inoculated oak saplings with truffle spores to revive crop. Jim Trappe at Oregon State U, PhD in fungal science, is grandfather of truffle science. He does sabbatical year in Umbria Italy. Truffles produce under oak trees aged 5-30, years, then decline, so old trees are felled and new seedlings in its shadow.As it’s spore count rises, truffle’s musk increases and attracts squirrels chipmunks shrews rabbits boar etc. Animal digests the spores and poops them back out. Spores can sit 30-40 years before finding an available root for germination and receives energy from tree root. In Italy, 8 generations of dogs to breed a top truffle hunter; usually Lagotto or shepherd or retriever. Dog kidnapping occurs and strychnine poisoning 126 dogs in 5 years and meatballs with lightbulb glass shards or sponges. Tires slashed, fires set because truffle hunters can hunt in public forests. Many victims are unwilling to report poisonings because law would require the forest to be closed.Truffle limits: 2 dogs/hunter, 500gm of white, 1kg of black, 2kg of summer truffle. There is a huge ill-defined middleman market, even in remote spots with wine and food while selling us done. All without labeling or invoicing. Oprah did truffle hunt and did a joint venture with Heinz to promote truffle zest. Billy Joel, Celine Dion, Jimmy Kimmel, Obama. Umbria’s finest black at 900 euros/kg, romanian Bulgarian Serbian Albanian Croatian for 500euros. Cheap Chinese imposters for $30-100kg. North African desert truffles at $30kg and up. There are no truffle regulators to ensure purity; it’s all up to the middlemen who use their eyes, nose and scale to bargain. How can they all possibly be honest?White truffles $7000kg because they very rare in full form as it breaks in animal’s mouth.In a 2012 review, 75% of white Piedmont truffles were not from that area. 15% from non-Italy. Formal documentation of provenance is the burden of the middleman. Organized crime is into olive oil, champagne and prosciutto and truffles. Truffles don’t even require labeling, no lot codes, unmarked, no dates until a middleman prepares an invoice. Sold more like heroin than a food. Fraud is hard to bust. No progress with Italian Parliament idea to use truffle hunter license numbers. Fraudsters target market is diners who pay for the class, not the taste.Urbani is world’s largest truffle company, owned by Olga Urbani, self-professed 70% of global market. An on site store sells everything truffle: chocolates, oils, honey, pasta, polenta, rice, bbq sauce, ketchup, mayo, butter etc. Wisely marketed to US using an Am nephew. Sent 1100 pounds to Ronald Reagan. In 1994, US Urbani rep Safina uncovers truffles are Chinese knock offs. Urbani patriarch Paolo was behind the deceit and largest scale truffle fraud in history. Later, Urbani lost NYC Windows on the World account when the Twin Towers fell, $1m account. Then mafia ties. Still today, fraudulent truffle oil is huge. Overall in the truffle industry, “you pick the truffles, you bring them to me, you negotiate cash, no invoice. It always starts out as an illegal operation”.White lose flavor in 5 days, black in 10. Place a truffle sealed in with an egg and the egg will be amazing. Sliced ever so finely between layers of special Brie cheese, with salmon, veal loin, over noodles with butter and Parmesan, in pea soup. “Each bite produced unspeakable pleasure, measures of silence and involuntary purrs”. Foragers who work in the pre-dawn and dusk, esoteric negotiation, and always presence of shady possibilities. Bound by the persistent evils of the underground.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    A nonfiction account of various illegal goings-on in the production and sale of truffles, from small-scale individual hunters and farmers to vast, multinational corporations. The main thing I learned from this book is that a) despite eating a lot of food labeled "truffle", I've probably never had a real truffle (either black, technically the Italian winter black truffle or Tuber melanosporum, or white, technically the Alba white truffle or Tuber magnatum) and b) there are way, way more species o A nonfiction account of various illegal goings-on in the production and sale of truffles, from small-scale individual hunters and farmers to vast, multinational corporations. The main thing I learned from this book is that a) despite eating a lot of food labeled "truffle", I've probably never had a real truffle (either black, technically the Italian winter black truffle or Tuber melanosporum, or white, technically the Alba white truffle or Tuber magnatum) and b) there are way, way more species of truffle than I ever realized. Indeed, a great deal of the "mystery, mayhem, and manipulation" involves substituting a species worth less for one of the culinary greats. Which brings me to my main problem with Jacobs's writing: a desperate need for more background information. What does it mean, really, if you buy an Italian black winter truffle and get a Chinese truffle (Tuber indicum or Tuber himalayensis) instead? Is it more or less the same thing, just lacking a certain terroir and cache, like buying a sparkling white wine instead of authentic champagne? Is it good but noticeably lesser in quality? Is it straight-up poisonous or otherwise something no one would ever knowingly purchase? Based on Jacobs's book alone, I have no idea where Chinese truffles fall on this possible spectrum. (The internet suggests Chinese truffles would be the middle category, with maybe a very rare chance of the third, if certain chemicals have been used to enhance the flavor and scent.) The same question applies to desert truffles (grown in the Middle East and North Africa), black summer truffles (France and Italy), pecan truffles (USA), and truffles of various species grown in Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Croatia, Hungary, or Slovenia). I wanted to know more about the basics of truffles – what they are, how they differ – but Jacobs jumps straight to fairly complicated questions without laying out the groundwork. However, substituting one truffle for another isn't the only kind of crime Jacobs covers. He talks to truffle farmers who see their orchards regularly hit by thieves, truffle hunters who have their dogs poisoned or kidnapped (there is a lot of dog harm in this book, for those who are sensitive to that), import companies that serve as fronts for the mob, crime syndicates that use young teenagers to carry out thefts,business innovators who retreat into isolated paranoia, million-dollar heists, and several murders. Which leads me to another problem: Jacobs talks to a lot of people, in multiple countries, involved with many companies, and as a result there are an abundance of names, many quite similar to one another. I had a great deal of trouble keeping everyone and every scheme straight. The Truffle Underground could really have benefited from one of those character lists you get at the front of epic fantasy novels. Overall it's a fascinating topic, and Jacobs certainly kept me turning the pages. (And craving truffles.) But I think there's a much better book on the same topic waiting to be written, by someone who's better organized and more skillful. I read this as an ARC via NetGalley.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    The book’s subtitle – A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World’s Most Expensive Fungus – gives you a pretty good idea of what’s to come. It really isn’t an exaggeration – I always knew that truffles were an expensive luxury and that they were difficult to harvest, but I never realized how insanely competitive the truffle market really is.This incredibly well-researched and well-written exposé delves into the dark side of the truffle business – a world where The book’s subtitle – A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World’s Most Expensive Fungus – gives you a pretty good idea of what’s to come. It really isn’t an exaggeration – I always knew that truffles were an expensive luxury and that they were difficult to harvest, but I never realized how insanely competitive the truffle market really is.This incredibly well-researched and well-written exposé delves into the dark side of the truffle business – a world where the truffle supply is filled with secrets, sabotage, fraud, thefts and more. Many will be surprised to learn how antiquated the truffle business is, considering how expensive and sought-after the delicacy is. The harvest of a “great” truffle is based more on the whims of nature, a bit of luck, and old-fashioned know-how, than on anything science can predict.Jacobs does a great job of profiling all the steps it takes to bring a truffle from the dirt in the ground to the most expensive tables in the best restaurants in the world. The journey is intriguing and the characters are straight out of crime novels. Some of the tales that this book tells read like a murder-mystery fiction more than a culinary non-fiction book. I mean, seriously – planting poisoned meatballs in the hopes of eliminating a rival’s truffle-hunting dog? Could anyone even make this stuff up?But it’s all true. The truffle business is BRUTAL and incredibly flawed and Jacobs does a masterful job of bringing it all to life. I know that not everyone enjoys single-subject culinary histories like I do. I devour them (pun intended). Some, I admit, can be pretty boring, while others are surprisingly entertaining. Luckily for me, The Truffle Underground falls into the latter category. Jacobs is an investigative reporter and it really shows in the research evident in the book. However, what makes this book stand out among many other similar nonfiction books is that amongst all the facts and quotes and interviews, there’s an incredible story going on and Jacobs skillfully weaves that into his hard-boiled facts.Food lovers will really enjoy this look into the world behind the truffle (although they may not be too happy to hear that their truffle salts and truffle oils are most likely fake). For those that are less food obsessed, this book is interesting and engaging enough that many will still find lots to enjoy.*** Thank you to the publisher, Crown Publishing/Clarkson Potter, and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • Koen
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely fascinating!I must admit, going in to this book, I knew jack about truffles. I've never even tasted them and i wasn't particularly interested in them. Still, that; 'A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World's Most Expensive Fungus' sparked my interest and i thought i'd give it a go.I'm glad i did because that tale is truly fascinating and Jacobs did a great job writing it up. The truffle itself is fascinating, i kinda want to taste it now. But the Absolutely fascinating!I must admit, going in to this book, I knew jack about truffles. I've never even tasted them and i wasn't particularly interested in them. Still, that; 'A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World's Most Expensive Fungus' sparked my interest and i thought i'd give it a go.I'm glad i did because that tale is truly fascinating and Jacobs did a great job writing it up. The truffle itself is fascinating, i kinda want to taste it now. But the whole supply chain and the markets perhaps is even more fascinating and there's i don't know how many crimes associated with it. There's stealing truffles from the ground or from warehouses, there's shadowy chains of buyers and middlemen with ample opportunity for creative accounting, there's fake truffles, a lot of that, and mislabeling and there's even theft and poisoning of dogs that are good at finding truffles.There's a lot shadowy stuff going on in the world of the most of expensive fungus. An excellent read.
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  • Kathryn Bergeron
    January 1, 1970
    Summary: The history and economics of truffles. Why I Read This: I read the review, and it just seemed awesome.Review: I was a little bit disappointed. Normally things like this are right up my alley, but this one fell kind of flat. I learned a lot about truffles and feel confident that I could pick out a tuber melanosporum based upon its packaging label. The stories that he told were interesting. I think that everything just felt prolonged. What could have been 5 pages turned into a whole chapt Summary: The history and economics of truffles. Why I Read This: I read the review, and it just seemed awesome.Review: I was a little bit disappointed. Normally things like this are right up my alley, but this one fell kind of flat. I learned a lot about truffles and feel confident that I could pick out a tuber melanosporum based upon its packaging label. The stories that he told were interesting. I think that everything just felt prolonged. What could have been 5 pages turned into a whole chapter. I was specifically frustrated with the seemingly endless chapters on the microcosm of one company that tried to switch out Chinese truffles for black truffles. It felt really long on the audiobook.
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  • Onceinabluemoon
    January 1, 1970
    4.5. I know nothing off truffles, never even tasted one, but after this book it's time I remedy the situation! Learned loads, like best avoid the oils as they are just faux chemicals and even if you think you are trying an authentic Italian truffle, imposters abound. It's an entire culture I knew nothing about, but it's cutthroat and heartbreaking, from murder to the killing and theft of too many dogs to count. Love reading, it exposes you to things you didn't even know you needed to know! And n 4.5. I know nothing off truffles, never even tasted one, but after this book it's time I remedy the situation! Learned loads, like best avoid the oils as they are just faux chemicals and even if you think you are trying an authentic Italian truffle, imposters abound. It's an entire culture I knew nothing about, but it's cutthroat and heartbreaking, from murder to the killing and theft of too many dogs to count. Love reading, it exposes you to things you didn't even know you needed to know! And now taste ...
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  • Bonnie
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fascinating read about truffles. Who knew that this dirty, ugly fungus would be craved by thieves for the money and the chefs providing expensive dishes. Farmers have to patrol their fields with guns, dogs are harmed by rival hunters, some buyers are duped by the liars and counterfeiters. Considering what all goes into the foraging of these fungus, it has this reader understanding the high cost of buying it. The author provided an interesting look at this expensive commodity. Thanks f This was a fascinating read about truffles. Who knew that this dirty, ugly fungus would be craved by thieves for the money and the chefs providing expensive dishes. Farmers have to patrol their fields with guns, dogs are harmed by rival hunters, some buyers are duped by the liars and counterfeiters. Considering what all goes into the foraging of these fungus, it has this reader understanding the high cost of buying it. The author provided an interesting look at this expensive commodity. Thanks for the free book, @clarksonpotter.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    * I listened on audio *I was so amped for this book because my chef boyfriend is adamant that 1) truffles are the best thing in the world, and 2) that there's no way fake truffles are real. (lol @ that oxymoron)But this book failed to grip me, sadly I think that's because of the audio narration. I hate hate HATE the accents audio narrators do, and there were a lot of accents in this book. It's really distracting.I can't decide if there was too much going on in this book, or not enough?
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  • Reading Fool
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.This was a fascinating expose about the truffle industry, a book that foodies will especially appreciate. I learned so much about the truffle supply chain, its scarcity and the consequent crime associated with it. Ryan Jacobs tells a compelling story that I couldn't put down. It's all here: science, business, crime. I loved it.
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  • Jeremiah Stratton
    January 1, 1970
    I recieved an eARC for an honest reviewGood book Im not sure I loved it or the way it was written. Will give more information when it is publishedOverall a 3.5 star book but rounded up to 4 stars for review
  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I knew that the process of finding truffles was rather unique. I had no idea that there was so many other unique and unusual aspects to discovering, distributing, and serving truffles. This book did leave me with a strong desire to try the real thing if I'm ever given the opportunity.
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  • Susan Beyerle
    January 1, 1970
    read about 2/3 of the book - mostly interesting at the beginning, but I don't even like mushrooms, so at some point the book lost its appeal to me. I might have missed interesting parts about the business of truffles in the last 1/3.
  • Jeannie
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating book for those of us who love truffles
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