How to Train a Truffle Puppy (and Why You Might Want to)
Ever hear the one about Tennessee-grown French truffles?
In 2007, the proprietor of Blackberry Farm in east Tennessee (a resort destination on a National Geographic Traveler Tour of a Lifetime), took a call from Tom Michaels, an academic who had recently moved into the area. After studying Tennessee’s soil, Michaels believed the climate and terroir (slightly acidic, with a lot of limestone) would be a great place to cultivate the second-rarest truffles in the world, the black Périgord from France.
Now, truffles cost thousands per pound, partly due to their rarity. It’s not easy to find truffles, which grow underground. Foragers search using specially trained animals who can sniff out the distinct musty aroma feet deep, a time-honored process that is time-consuming and often fruitless. (Humans