Friends who have never been seduced by the aroma of the rare mushroom from Italy often ask what it is that keeps me coming back for more. What could the unsightly fungi that has been known to fetch up to $10,000 a pound possibly have over me?
The Tuber magnatum is the most valuable truffle because it has a distinctly alluring perfume and although its taste is delicate it fulfils the quintessential sensation we expect of a 'truffle'. Due to the high price it commands, secrecy abounds.
Find a truffle and it's like finding money buried in the ground. Depending on quality, white truffles the size of a walnut to a grapefruit sell for about $200 per ounce. The dealer has disappeared. Deals are consummated outside, around the corner, out of view. I did not see either truffle or euro change hands.