Science: Delicacy Underground

Truffles are underground mushrooms—stonelike, spore-bearing fruit of fungi that live on tree roots. The insects and small animals which distribute truffle spores are attracted by the powerful, penetrating odor. The odor also interests dogs, hogs, goats and gourmets. The truffle has been in high fashion as an accent for royal feasts since the time of Pliny.*

Americans rarely see truffles except as thin, dark slices in jars of pâté de foie gras, and that is really too bad, says Dr. Donald Philip Rogers of the New York Botanical Garden. There are plenty of fine, strong native truffles in the U.S....

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