The Tennessee truffle

If you've said adieu to French wine, soon you'll be able to feast on homegrown truffles. Via the UK Telegraph
Just a few miles from the birthplace of frontier pioneer Davy Crockett, mushroom expert Tom Michaels has unlocked the secret of commercial production of the famous Perigord black truffle.

In a breakthrough that could one day make an American-grown Perigord truffle as ubiquitous worldwide as the Big Mac, Mr Michaels has produced his first crop of the pungent nodules in his orchard, deep in rural Tennessee.

Seven years after planting acres of hazelnut trees impregnated with the spores of Tuber melanosporum, the 59-year-old scientist discovered just a few weeks ago that his experiment had finally born fruit. Recalling the moment of discovery, he said "I was jumping around yelling 'Eureka'."
A top chef says ,"It's the real thing."

Thomas Lifson adds:

This is delicious news in multiple ways. Truffles are an elemental food, which appeal not merely to the taste buds, but to the soul. There is something about them that satisifes on the same sort of level that pheromones address, by-passing the conscious mind and going directly to the inner essence.

Due to a variety of factors, probably including some sort of producer's cartel, the price of truffles has become extortionate, mainly because people with money who have come to learn of their seductive pleasures will pay anything to get them, like a heroin junkie in need of a fix. May this part of Tennessee rapidly expand production to the point of bringing down prices and democratizing this miracle of nature. The French will probably burn down another MacDonald's in protest, but so what? Nothing could better symbolize the truly progressive nature of America than our ability to produce food desired by billions (Big Macs) on an epic scale and democratize the truffle, culinary delight of aristocracy.

Now I hope that some other great American minds will begin the project of cultivating white truffles. Who knows where they could be grown? Maybe over reclaimed strip mines?
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