Listen free for 30 days

  • The Truffle Underground

  • A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World's Most Expensive Fungus
  • By: Ryan Jacobs
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Biographies & Memoirs, True Crime
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £22.49

Buy Now for £22.49

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

“The ultimate truffle true crime tale” (Bianca Bosker, New York Times best-selling author of Cork Dork) - a thrilling journey through the hidden underworld of the world's most prized luxury ingredient.

Beneath the gloss of star chefs and crystal-laden tables, the truffle supply chain is touched by theft, secrecy, sabotage, and fraud. Farmers patrol their fields with rifles and fear losing trade secrets to spies. Hunters plant poisoned meatballs to eliminate rival truffle-hunting dogs. Naive buyers and even knowledgeable experts are duped by liars and counterfeits. 

Deeply reported and elegantly written, this addictive exposé documents the dark, sometimes deadly crimes at each level of the truffle’s path from ground to plate, making sense of an industry that traffics in scarcity, seduction, and cash. Through it all, a question lingers: What, other than money, draws people to these dirt-covered jewels? 

Praise for The Truffle Underground

“Investigative journalist and first-time author Jacobs does a remarkable job reporting from the front lines of the truffle industry, bringing to vivid life French black-truffle farmers, Italian white-truffle foragers, and their marvelously well-trained dogs.” (Booklist, starred review) 

“In The Truffle Underground, Ryan Jacobs presents a lively exposé of the truffle industry, reporting on the crimes that ‘haunt the whole supply chain.’... Even if truffles are beyond your pay grade, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had in the sheer devilment portrayed in this informative and appetizing book.” (The Wall Street Journal

“In elegant, mesmerizing prose, Ryan Jacobs has delivered a forest-to-table page-turner from the outer limits of our foodie culture, a place where colorful farmers, serial dog murderers and famous chefs grapple over a crudely foraged fungus that's traded in parking lots and bars, like heroin. The Truffle Underground is an eye-opener for anyone who's picked up a fork.” (Steve Fainaru, New York Times best-selling author of League of Denial and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter)

©2019 Ryan Jacobs (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“Jacobs is an unstoppable and captivating guide through the dark underbelly of the world’s most glamorous fungus. This is the ultimate truffle true crime tale.” (Bianca Bosker, New York Times best-selling author of Cork Dork

“The thrilling new book The Truffle Underground has all the dirt on this prized fungus.” (Mother Jones

The Truffle Underground is as much about human nature as it is about a little-known corner of the food industry. In the guise of a crisply written and engaging story about a rare, astronomically priced delicacy, Jacobs has produced a contemporary morality tale about capitalism and consumerism.” (Los Angeles Review of Books

What listeners say about The Truffle Underground

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for AnonymousB’ham
  • AnonymousB’ham
  • 17-07-21

Fascinating story for foodies

I had no idea about all of the intrigue surrounding the truffle industry. It was an extremely interesting book for me as a foodie.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Thomas
  • Thomas
  • 06-07-21

A Good One In A Great Genre

Birds; Feathers; Orchids- What next ? Fungi ?
Yep-
Learned a lot about the world of Fungi and the culture surrounding both its cultivation and its use.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Christina
  • Christina
  • 30-05-21

Riveting

This is one of the most fascinating books I’ve listened to in years. The truffle business is WILD.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Baryn BRand
  • Baryn BRand
  • 27-01-21

Decent story easy to get lost in

craving truffles now I hate truffle "FAKE" truffles and some bad accents blah blah blah...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for alan hosch
  • alan hosch
  • 13-10-20

I was enthralled. Couldn't put it down.

Fascination with the subject matter grew with every listen. It's a well written book with an equally exceptional performance.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for dana l diehl
  • dana l diehl
  • 22-11-19

Interesting, disillusioning story

Good story, those Jacobs’s prose is a bit florid at times
Narrator should leave off with the accents. They were distracting, often inauthentic. Some of the Italian ones sounded like stereotypes from “The Godfather”

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for officeworker
  • officeworker
  • 16-09-19

Incredible education in truffle trade economics and gastronomy

I learned more about truffles than I ever thought I would know and more about all the fake truffle products I’ve been eating over the last few years than I wanted to know.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marissa Katter
  • Marissa Katter
  • 18-08-19

Perfection

This book is great, the story fascinating, and the narration absolutely sublime. I want to listen again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for RB Player
  • RB Player
  • 25-07-19

history I didn't know.

great background. had no idea. A lot of time energy and money spent on truffles

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mike
  • Mike
  • 24-07-19

Never knew the behind the scenes story

Actually never cared about truffles industry and the book really wove a wonderful tale. Deception with intrigue on a mostly unmonitored industry with premium pricing. Uninformed consumers demanding truffles from restaurants whose buyers are hit and miss with industry knowledge make a powder keg situation.