Your audiobook is waiting…

The Truffle Underground

A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World's Most Expensive Fungus
Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

“The ultimate truffle true crime tale” (Bianca Bosker, New York Times best-selling author of Cork Dork) - 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 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. 

Deeply reported and elegantly written, this addictive exposé documents the dark, sometimes deadly crimes at each level of the truffle’s path from ground to plate, making sense of an industry that traffics in scarcity, seduction, and cash. Through it all, a question lingers: What, other than money, draws people to these dirt-covered jewels? 

Praise for The Truffle Underground

“Investigative journalist and first-time author Jacobs does a remarkable job reporting from the front lines of the truffle industry, bringing to vivid life French black-truffle farmers, Italian white-truffle foragers, and their marvelously well-trained dogs.” (Booklist, starred review) 

“In The Truffle Underground, Ryan Jacobs presents a lively exposé of the truffle industry, reporting on the crimes that ‘haunt the whole supply chain.’ . . . Even if truffles are beyond your pay grade, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had in the sheer devilment portrayed in this informative and appetizing book.” (The Wall Street Journal

“In elegant, mesmerizing prose, Ryan Jacobs has delivered a forest-to-table page-turner from the outer limits of our foodie culture, a place where colorful farmers, serial dog murderers and famous chefs grapple over a crudely foraged fungus that's traded in parking lots and bars, like heroin. The Truffle Underground is an eye-opener for anyone who's picked up a fork.” (Steve Fainaru, New York Times best-selling author of League of Denial and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter)

©2019 Ryan Jacobs (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A] fascinating work.... This deeply researched and eye-opening account of the lengths people will go for wealth, gratification, and a taste of the prized fungus will captivate readers." (Publishers Weekly

The Truffle Underground is a smart, revealing exposé into how that expensive piece of fungus made it to your plate, and the extreme lengths scammers go to farm and steal them. True-crime nerds, this is the unsuspecting story you’ve been waiting for.” (Thrillist)

"The Truffle Underground is a fascinating, genre-blending romp. It's a business book, a mystery, a science lesson, and a love story that's as seductive as the buttery fungus at the heart of it all." (Derek Thompson, national best-selling author of Hit Makers and staff writer at The Atlantic

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible education in truffle trade economics and gastronomy

I learned more about truffles than I ever thought I would know and more about all the fake truffle products I’ve been eating over the last few years than I wanted to know.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfection

This book is great, the story fascinating, and the narration absolutely sublime. I want to listen again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

history I didn't know.

great background. had no idea. A lot of time energy and money spent on truffles

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 07-24-19

Never knew the behind the scenes story

Actually never cared about truffles industry and the book really wove a wonderful tale. Deception with intrigue on a mostly unmonitored industry with premium pricing. Uninformed consumers demanding truffles from restaurants whose buyers are hit and miss with industry knowledge make a powder keg situation.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating , engaging, well researched

I will never know for sure if the truffle dish I'm eating at a restaurant is authentic... thanks!