Latest Issue

The black diamond

Black truffles are a rare, mysterious and expensive delicacy. Lesley Chamberlain visits the truffle's home ground in Provence and discovers that hunting it is better than eating it

The black truffle is one of nature’s darkest secrets-its existence pitched uncertainly between life and death. Ambivalent, malevolent, it inspires operatic passions. Men fight over it, dogs tremble, truffle flies are reduced to a clumsy hopping in its vicinity. Cult members wear black cloaks and swear lifelong allegiance to the mystery. This is why a perishable, walnut-sized nugget of tuber melanosporum in London costs ?50 -and why adding a nought to that figure, to visit the truffle’s home ground in Provence, is even better than eating it.

Jean-Marie Rocchia is a dentist from the Var region of Provence. Like his…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect