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Taming the Truffle: The History, Lore, and Science of the Ultimate Mushroom Hardcover – January 4, 2008


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Taming the Truffle: The History, Lore, and Science of the Ultimate Mushroom + Field Guide to North American Truffles: Hunting, Identifying, and Enjoying the World's Most Prized Fungi
Price for both: $33.74

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (January 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881928607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881928600
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Anyone who’s ever tasted a fresh truffle appreciates firsthand the sensual, almost primitive, allure of this fungus’ unmistakable, powerful, penetrating perfume. Gourmets endlessly debate the relative virtues of Italy’s white truffle and France’s black truffle, but properly selected and prepared, either can gratify. Both the truffle’s rarity and the idiosyncrasy of its traditional harvesting with trained pigs or dogs to sniff out its underground lairs add to this mushroom’s allure. Demand for truffles and a decline in the annual harvest have caused prices to skyrocket, leading to fraudulent marketing and to increasing attempts to cultivate truffles beyond their wild habitats. The authors survey Europe’s, Asia’s, and America’s truffles and distinguish each subspecies’ biological and culinary characteristics. They lay out the problems and the successes of commercial truffle production. This is technically detailed and abstruse data, but aficionados, chefs, and cooking students can learn a lot here about these lords of the fungi realm. --Mark Knoblauch

Review

“The pleasure of truffles can be both gustatory and emotional; likewise, this book provides both substantial information and evocative folklore.”
(Lavender)

“A beautiful book from start to finish (think coffee table book in appearance, but with meat to it). No mycophile or gastronome passing through a bookshop would walk past the cover without picking it up! And the book is filled with high-quality color photographs. The prose matches the elegant pictures nicely, even humorously at times, and takes the reader through the history of truffle hunting and cultivation ... Taming the Truffle would certainly attract all levels of mycologists from beginner through advanced, but it has the allure and witty prose to inveigle those who never imagined they could share out love and interest in fungi.”
(Inoculum)

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a lovely luxurious book with many pictures and drawings. That the authors have a wonderful sense of humor is evident in the writing.”
(Gastronomica)

“[T]his fascinating, lavishly illustrated volume…will keep the reader engrossed through site preparations, irrigation methods—and, yes, the actual tasting of the truffle.”



“[The authors] reveal the state of the art and science of producing the ‘ultimate mushroom’ in a splendidly interesting and informative way…this book is outstanding.”



“Even if you don’t crave growing truffles, this informative and highly readable book reveals the fascinating mysteries, lore, and biology of this ultimate food better than any other book in English.  It is a paragon of science written for the interested layperson.”


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Customer Reviews

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I highly recomend this book.
Thomas S. Mackie
I find this to be an invaluable book in my attempts to succeed in truffle cultivation.
Tony Mundy
A fantastic insight into the world of Truffles, well written and easy to read.
Richard John Hollis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By H. B. Estabrooks Jr. on April 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully presented through excellent printing, and wonderful photographs. It is superbly researched in dealing with the science of truffles and their distribution. If you want to know about truffles, in principle, this is the book to have.

If you're thinking about undertaking truffle culture in North America, this book will not be much help. It has much to say about how people have been successful in Europe and New Zealand but essentially nothing about the U.S. This is unfortunate as there are a number of successful truffieres in Oregon, North Carolina and Tennessee. It would have been good to talk about their efforts/methods. The book would have been more helpful if the authors had captured some of the experience and wisdom embodied in Dr. Charles Lefevre of New World Truffieres. He's the preeminent North American truffle expert.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J Davis on October 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an extension specialist who works with new crops. Truffles are one of the "hot new crops" that I answer questions about every week. I also maintain a small, young truffle orchard; it is not yet producing. There aren't many "truffle experts" in the U.S. right now. If you want to grow truffles, most of the information you get will be from the people who want to sell you the inoculated seedlings. The information from the agricultural extension system is still quite limited. So this is the book that I recommend to anyone who is considering growing truffles. Establishing a truffle orchard is expensive; this book is a small price to pay for valuable information on truffle biology, history, the industry, and cultivation around the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dale Reynolds on December 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been trying to find information about truffels. This book seems to be a great place to start the quest into a little known area of farming. Lots of indepth ideas and many many things to think about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anna Pearson on July 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
An odd sort of crossover between a book that you could almost just leave on your coffee table, and a genuinely valuable information source. Covers an excellent variety of subject matter and definitely a worthwhile read if you're interested in starting a truffle farm - will let you know what you need to test, and give you some insight into judging quality of product if you haven't had the fortune of growing up in Europe surrounded by fresh Truffles!! :)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas S. Mackie on February 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a self described Truffle afficianado, I would say this is the best book that I have seen on truffles. I have not finished reading the entire book, but can say that it is the most comprehensive and informative book on truffles that I have found. It does not rate one truffle over the next like some books do. I highly recomend this book.
Tom Mackie
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great resource for Truffles. Even tells you about how to grow your own. Which i am in the process of getting the land prepared.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a superlative book: well written, nicely printed and bound, and with a reasonable price for the value.

More particularly, it is THE definitive work, so far, as regards the black Perigord truffle (or tuber melanosporum) and the white Italian truffle (or tuber magnatum), not to mention the many world regional variants such as African desert truffles or Oregon native truffles. As the black truffle currently runs about $1,000.00 per pound, and the Italian white runs about $3,000.00 per pound, this book would obviously be of interest to anyone wanting a legal high cash crop.

"Taming the Truffle" is, in addition, filled with fascinating information, not limited to such tidbits as the name of the French chef who first paired the Perigord truffle with foie gras, or the unsettling fact that in the 1970s, French scientists did such an inadequate job of isolating t. melanosporum spores that they mistakenly inoculated thousands of hectares of tree seedlings with the less valuable and more virulent t. brumale spore system, thus ruining France's attempts at restoring her indigenous truffieres.

Most valuable, at least for the prospective grower, is that this book gives the clearest information that I have seen as to the terroir and growing conditions of t. melanosporum and t. magnatum, together with an exhaustive bibliography of just about everything written (popular or scientific) on the subject of truffles.

This is not to say, however, that with this book, thousands of dollars worth of inoculated seedlings, and a few tons of calcium carbonate strewn on the ground, one will start digging up truffles in five to ten years.
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By Tfisher87 on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everything you could possibility want to know about truffles. I am writing a book and the book explained everything. Woould definitely order from the veder again.
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