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My best friend is a chef, living in London, who does function work for the Royal family a handfull of times a year. Apparently, a few truffles per function become surplus after these functions because of my friends miscalculations. I've never benifitted from these oversights, but with a little timing and luck, one will happen this april when I visit.
On a side note, there is a quite successful, fledgling truffle industry in Tasmania.. They use dogs, as the pigs tend to eat the truffles when they find them.
Did you hear the story about the $50,000 truffle that went bad? A famous UK restaurant (Zafferano I think) bought what at the time was the world's most expensive truffle -- a white Alba. But then they stored it wrong, and it went bad. Ouch.
In the end I think they re-planted it in Tuscany, hoping it would revive itself.
So don't feel bad the next time you throw away some spoiled cheese!
Last year I stopped in a gourmet store across the street from Pike Place in Seattle. The saleswoman asked if she could put a few grains of Truffle Salt on my hand for me to try. One lick and you will spend the $30 or so on a cheap way to put the taste of truffle on anything.