Thursday, August 18, 2016

Langdon Cook's The Mushroom Hunters

Unlike a trifolau of Italy—a professional truffle hunter who is revered, and well compensated, for his centuries-old craft and is likely to be accompanied by a dog with equally honed skills—the American commercial truffle hunter is not held to the highest of standards, and this mediocrity is shared right up the line. I've sat down to dinner at one of the nicest restaurants on the West Coast and watched the owner go table to table showing off a Périgord truffle the size of a tennis ball. The girth was impressive yet it possessed no magic—it was completely tasteless, probably because it had been dug up too early. That's a crime, Jeremy Faber would say. He has little tolerance for the lack of sophistication in the American truffle market. The pickers rake the truffles too soon; the merchants buy the unripe truffles anyway, out of ignorance; and trusting customers allow themselves to be fooled because they've never actually tasted a good truffle and don't know any better. The result is a collective shrug.  
- Langdon Cook, The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America <http://amzn.to/2bBqZ0g>
Langdon Cook