COOKING & FOOD

The Truffle Underground: A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World’s Most Expensive Fungus

Clarkson Potter. Jun. 2019. 288p. notes. ISBN 9780451495693. pap. $16ebk. ISBN 9780451495709. COOKING
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In this new book, Jacobs, a reporter with The Atlantic and Mother Jones, starts with a tip from a mushroom forager that leads him around the world in search of truffles and their purveyors. He follows truffles from field to forest to market to plate and even stops in a laboratory to understand the unusual characteristics of this fungus. Along the way he meets a variety of interesting characters and experiences the unique culture that surrounds this fungus. Jacobs, in his travels, even encounters the criminality and deception that comes with a rare commodity that is highly sought after. His prose starts carefree, but becomes more sober as he learns how secretive, as well as lucrative, the truffle market has become. In the end, he finds himself coming to terms with the current market, seeing both good and ill continuing to shape the business.

VERDICT Jacobs brings the reader on a fascinating journey that will be enjoyed both by foodies and by travel lovers.

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