Truffle Hound: On the Trail of the World’s Most Seductive Scent, with Dreamers, Schemers, and Some Extraordinary Dogs

Bloomsbury. Sept. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781635575194. $28. COOKING
There’s more to truffles than fancy pasta and a huge price tag, as food writer Jacobsen (A Geography of Oysters) explains in this latest work. For starters, there are hundreds of species of truffle; most are inedible, but Jacobsen covers the eight or so varieties worth pursuing. He describes catching the bug for truffles and traveling through expected truffle-hunting spots in Italy and France, before branching out into Eastern Europe, England, the United States, and even Québec. He rides along on midnight truffle hunts, attends auctions and festivals, hangs out with a lot of dogs trained to find truffles underground, and meets distributors, farmers, and chefs. Along the way, he also manages to smell and consume many a truffle. At the end of the book, he includes a few simple recipes designed to bring out the best in the elusive and pricey tuber, along with a list of reliable sources for truffles and truffle-scented goods, and even breeders of truffle-hunting dogs and truffle-inoculated trees for those wanting to create their own truffière from scratch.
VERDICT A deep dive into all things truffle that’s somewhat repetitive in places, but well written and full of interesting characters and fascinating facts.
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