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A Trunk Full Of Truffles

Posted by

Nov 28, 2016

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

Just two days ago, truffle dealer Ian Purkayastha’s white truffles were underground in a forest in Tuscany, Italy. Now they’re in a styrofoam box in his car. He needs to sell $20,000 worth of them by 5pm, when the restaurants start gearing up for dinner. Also--truffles don't keep.

This week on The Sporkful, we’ll follow Ian as he hustles his way through some of the finest kitchens in New York City selling truffles, one of the most expensive foods in the world. We’ll battle traffic, parking cops, black market smugglers, penny-pinching chefs and the cruel mistress of time to try to answer two questions:

What is it about this food that makes it so special? And how is a 24-year-old who sells it out of the trunk of his car on track to do $6 million in sales this year?

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Along the way I'll eat a $68 cheeseburger covered with white truffles.

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Plus we'll talk to smell scientist Avery Gilbert about whether the cost of truffles fools us into thinking they taste better than they do.

This episode is a special collaboration with our friends at the NPR podcast Planet Money, and is co-hosted by Planet Money reporter Stacey Vanek Smith.

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

Connect with Dan on TwitterInstagram and Facebook!

Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:

- "Feel Real Good" by William Van De Crommert

- "Hound Dog" by Jason Mickelson

- "Mars Casino" by Jake Luck and Collin Gorman Weiland

Photos: Courtesy of Dan Pashman

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