Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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truffle a fungus whose fruiting body grows underground and which constitutes a mysterious, costly, and delicate foodstuff.

One wonders whether President Truman ever received, and tasted, the largest truffle of which a record exists: a giant which registered over 2 kg (4 lb) on the scales. The Italian who dug it up in 1951 near Alba, in the heart of the Italian truffle country, sold it for 130,000 lire (equivalent, perhaps, to more than £3,000 now) and Goldschmied (1954) records that the businessman from Rome who bought it intended to offer in homage to Truman the one Old World food which he could not possibly, at that time, grow on his own territory.