A batch of Appalachian Truffles
A batch of Appalachian Truffles (Photo: Caroline Tompkins)
Adventures in Audio

The Sometimes Shady, Always Weird World of Truffle Hunters

A batch of Appalachian Truffles

In forests across the planet, secretive hunters are searching for that rare and insanely expensive wild delicacy: the truffle. The organism, which grows underground, tethered to tree roots, can fetch thousands of dollars per pound from upscale restaurateurs. The only way to find these particular fungi are dogs specially trained to sniff them out. Not surprisingly, the truffle business is not unlike the illegal-drug business, with lots of sneaking around in the night and powerful characters vying for control over markets. Outside contributing editor Rowan Jacobsen took a journey deep into the underworld of truffle hunters that began in the ancient forests of Europe and ended up, very unexpectedly, in the hills of Appalachia.


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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.