Conspicuous consumption knows no bounds. You persuade some of your clients to donate a few quid for a charity auction, then buy a rather large truffle (see Dinosaur Dung entry), and invite journalists to come and have a sniff. £28,000 worth of Tuber magnatum. Ready to eat. Limited shelf life. So you lock it in a safe and go on holiday. The words “daft” and “bugger” spring unbidden to my mind.
It proves only one thing. Chefs know less about truffle than they care to admit, and growers outside France and Italy have a lot of educating to do. I want chefs to buy my truffles (when I’ve got some) because their customers will want a superb gourmet experience. The restaurateurs have to justify the cost of the truffle when they plate the meals, and the customer has to feel they’re getting value for money. If the best they can achieve is letting the things rot, then my job is going to be a lot harder.