The Truffle Underground by Ryan Jacobs

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 tru...

Details The Truffle Underground

TitleThe Truffle Underground
Release DateJun 4th, 2019
PublisherClarkson Potter Publishers
GenreNonfiction, Crime, True Crime, Food and Drink, Food, History, Mystery, Cooking

Reviews The Truffle Underground

  • Randal White
    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 auth...
  • Janet
    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 patr...
  • Patricia
    I wonder how many people have never tasted a true truffle after reading this book. First of all, much to my chagrin I have never tasted a truffle which makes it very hard to understand their appeal. The truffle industry is filled with crime and people who do not speak the truth. This is an interesting book which I think will appeal to many people.
  • Jeanette
    This is something that I thought I would enjoy much more than I did.After the 1/2 way point I speed read and skimmed portions. But some of the last parts I read slowly.Others have said it better. But honestly as much as all this information filled in gaps for my knowledge of truffles and their uses and marketing, it also turned me off in huge proportions. Especially within the detached and clinical long passages of all the dog harm and sabotage d...
  • Idarah
    Review can be found here:
  • Megon
    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 tr...
  • Stephanie
    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 d...
  • Onceinabluemoon
    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 thi...
  • Sandra Fallico
    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;)
  • Sloane Mcnulty
    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!
  • Koen
    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 f...
  • Laurie Shapiro
  • Kate
    Fascinating! Great audiobook.
  • Jeannie
    A fascinating book for those of us who love truffles
  • Collin Huber
    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.
  • Mike
    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!
  • Summer Brennan
    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 ...
  • Leith Devine
    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 ...
  • Katherine
    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...
  • Alysa H.
    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...
  • Reading Fool
    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.
  • Aaron Shulman
    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.
  • Mac
    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...
  • Evy
    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 ...
  • Julie H.
    So happy to have snapped up a copy of Ryan Jacobs' The Truffle Underground: A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World's Most Expensive Fungus on a recent trip where I finished my reading material before passing through the requisite number of airports. This book is written in an easy to read style with just the right mix of food science, natural history, true crime, and investigative journalism that makes it i...
  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    Summary: The first half of this was a lot of fun, but the second half was darker and less entertaining.I always feel a little bad when I have a series of less than enthusiastic reviews, but I have to admit, this was another book that didn't quite live up to my expectations. The first half of the book was fantastic. It included interesting true crime elements and lots of fun facts about a fascinating subculture. The second half began poorly thoug...
  • Larry Davidson
    The full title of this book gives the reader a sense of what he or she is about to encounter. This is the story of truffles, well researched and well told. Several aspects of the truffle process are set forth in detail from the unearthing of truffles to the serving to the dinner. The reader is exposed to the different regions where top quality truffles are obtained (Italy and France), the dark winter and the rarer white truffles, and the risk of ...
  • Thomas Kelley
    If you are alike I assume a lot of people you have heard of truffles and may know that they are an expensive treat but I have not had the opportunity to try them. I first heard of a little more in depth when I heard an article on NPR and ended up reading "Truffle Boy" which got me interested and when I seen this book coming out I had to read it. This book covers all aspects of the truffle industry. You follow the hunters and farmers of truffles a...