Tuscan Treasures

Truffles were prized in Italy as an Epicurean delight as far back as the Roman gourmand Apicius' legendary banquet in 20 A.D., and in certain villages life has long revolved around the aromatic fungus. In San Giovanni d'Asso, located on a Tuscan hilltop and surrounded by the rolling clay slopes of the Crete Senesi, truffles are truly a village affair: there are 50 truffle hunters out of a population of 350, according to Mayor Michele Boscagli. From September to December they hunt for the delicacy, feast on a portion of their bag, and sell the rest to local merchants and restaurants....

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