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Why real truffles are so expensive

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  • Truffles are one of the most expensive foods on the planet. 
  • The most prized varieties could cost you over $4000 per kilo.
  • The English Truffle Company finds autumn truffles across the South of England, alongside truffle hunting experiences and truffle dog training.

The luxury cousins of the mushroom, truffles are an indulgent food enjoyed across the world. But these fragrant fungi will cost you.

In 2014, the world’s largest white truffle was flown to New York, accompanied by a security guard, and sold at auction for $61,000. Discovered in Italy, this gigantic fungus weighed almost 2 kilos.

So what is it that makes them so expensive?

There are a lot of types of truffles. There at least 40 species, many of which aren’t edible — and new species have been discovered as recently as 2018.

You’ve probably seen luxury truffle products in supermarkets or fancy restaurants. But the unique truffle flavour you recognise might not be real truffle at all. Cheap truffle oil often hasn’t been anywhere near a real truffle.

Many cheaper truffle products use 2,4-dithiapentane, a synthesized compound containing one of the main aromatic compounds in foot odor — guaranteed to give it that that “earthy” taste.  

Real truffles are seasonal and pricey, with a short shelf life. They were originally sniffed out using truffle pigs, but these days dogs are much more common truffle-hunting companions. These fungi can be found across the world, but they all require a very specific climate to grow. While different varieties may have somewhat different requirements, one thing is certain: You can’t have truffles without trees.

Even when you have exactly the right conditions, truffles aren’t guaranteed. And hunting them is a labour-intensive process. Once you know where to look, you have to sniff out and dig up each truffle by hand, and they can be tricky to find. It may take a while, but finding a good one can make it worth the work, a 80g truffle can be worth over $100.

Truffles also have a short season, often appearing for only a few months of the year. And even when you do get your hands on them, they have a very short shelf life. After just five days, the pungent truffle smell will have halved.

You can farm many truffle varieties, besides the rare Italian whites. Many people have been successful in setting up truffle orchards, but it’s not easy. Trees need to be planted in the right soil conditions, inoculated with truffle fungus, and often irrigated constantly. It can take as long as six years before you get a good truffle harvest, and there’s no guarantee that the fungi will grow at all.

These days, farming has taken over as our primary source of truffles — and today, 70% of the world’s truffles are cultivated.

Through the loss of woodland and climate change, the number of wild truffles has decreased significantly. Since the 19th century, production in France has fallen from over 1,000 tonnes a season to just 30 tonnes. And climate change could mean that truffles will disappear altogether in the future.

 



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The CW ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ crossover cameos and appearances

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  • Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
  • The CW kicked off the Arrowverse’s big “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover on Sunday. 
  • The five-part event will conclude on January 14, 2020. 
  • The first episode featured plenty of notable appearances, aside from the network’s current stars. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The CW’s highly-anticipated Arrowverse crossover, titled “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” began on Sunday.

On the episode, which is one of five total, superheroes from across the multiverse united to prevent complete destruction as anti-matter swept across several Earths. This included Earth-38, which is home to Supergirl/Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist). Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), who kickstarted the network’s Arrowverse in 2012, also died trying to save billions of citizens from the aforementioned Earth.   

In addition to the actors from “Arrow,” “Supergirl,” “The Flash,” “Batwoman,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” and “Black Lightning” that will appear throughout the crossover (which concludes with two back-to-back episodes on January 14, 2020) some other stars are expected to make cameos.  

Here are all the celebrities who had cameos, so far. 



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TV shows coming out in 2020 that we’re most excited for

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  • Numerous TV shows will make their debut in 2020, from reboots of beloved classics like Disney Plus’ “Lizzie McGuire” to original shows like “The Outsider” from HBO. 
  • Other shows, like the CW’s “Katy Keene,” will also premiere in the coming year. 
  • And 2020 will see the return of hit series like HBO’s “Succession” and “Westworld.” 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

Plenty of exciting new shows are set to premiere in 2020, from reboots of beloved classics like Disney Plus’ “Lizzie McGuire” and “Clueless” to original shows like HBO’s “The Outsider.” 

Other series, like Hulu’s “Normal People” and “Nine Perfect Strangers,” will also make their debut in the coming year. 

With so many new shows premiering in 2020, it can be tough to keep track of which shows to add to your watch list. That’s why we’ve compiled the 12 TV shows we’re most excited about that are premiering in 2020. 



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The 8 most overhyped TV shows of the year

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“Big Little Lies” season two was an unnecessary addition to what many considered a perfect first season of TV.

Big Little Lies season 2

Meryl Streep joins the star-studded cast for season two of “Big Little Lies.”
HBO


Oscar-winning legend Meryl Streep made the rare move of joining a television project for the second season of “Big Little Lies,” and people were equal parts thrilled and excited to see her joining the already incredible ensemble.

Unfortunately, the new episodes didn’t add enough to the overall story and instead wound up being disappointing. 

The New Yorker writer Doreen St. Félix wrote about the “disappointing, Emmy-baiting” season two finale, saying the entire season “probably should not have been made, or, rather, recycled from the first.”

“Big Little Lies” wound up getting nominated for a Golden Globe, and it was just one of many shows we believe didn’t deserve the award nod.

“The Case Against Adnan Syed” was another overblown HBO series that came out this year.

the case against adnan syed

“The Case Against Adnan Syed” premiered on March 10, 2019.
HBO


Perhaps the true crime documentary is simply oversaturated these days, but “The Case Against Adnan Syed” failed to captivate the world’s attention in the way the original examination of this unsolved crime did with the “Serial” podcast. 

Though well-received by critics, the documentary fell flat for audiences who might have been hoping to see new evidence uncovered about the heart-wrenching case. The real-world effects didn’t work out as hoped, either, since the Supreme Court recently rejected Syed’s request for a new trial. 

“13 Reasons Why” season three was an unmitigated disaster.

13 reasons why

Dylan Minnette on “13 Reasons Why.”
David Moir/Netflix


With a tanking reputation among critics and Netflix subscribers alike, this drama series just seems to get worse with each season. The new episodes were marketed with an attempt to engage the audience with a mystery (“Who killed Bryce Walker?”) that no one really cared about.

Then, by the time the new season arrived on Netflix, it was clear how little people desired to see more tangled stories set in this particularly awful fictional high school. Jen Chaney of Vulture wrote an article that pretty much sums it up: “13 Reasons Why I Couldn’t Stand 13 Reasons Why Season 3.”

 

The series finale of “Game of Thrones” was the most anticipated television event of the decade, and wound up being far more contentious than people were expecting.

jon snow daenerys game of thrones

Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke as Jon and Daenerys on the final season of “Game of Thrones.”
HBO


Your mileage may vary with how successful you believe the final season of “Game of Thrones” was, but no one can deny the overwhelming negativity in the fandom surrounding those final six episodes. 

Perhaps expectations were too high heading in, or maybe it was just the inevitable conclusion for a show that had long outpaced its complex source material, but “Game of Thrones” didn’t go out on the high note many people had hoped for. 

“Modern Love” was supposed to be a heartwarming anthology series, but it left many feeling ice cold.

Anne Hathaway Modern Love Amazon Prime

Anne Hathaway on Amazon’s “Modern Love.”
Amazon Prime


This new Amazon series was billed as an endearing and inspiring show, based on real stories found in the New York Times column of the same name. With a star-studded cast including Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Tina Fey, Andrew Scott, Andy García, and more, we expected riveting storytelling.

Instead, the love stories were shallow and trite at best, and uncomfortable and creepy at worst. 

The newest season “Black Mirror” was the worst-reviewed one yet.

Black Mirror season five Netflix

Season five of “Black Mirror” premiered on June 5, 2019.
Netflix


This dystopian anthology series has been beloved by audiences since its introduction on the UK’s Channel 4 in 2011. When Netflix took over, the popularity of “Black Mirror” only grew.

But this year’s installment showed that not ever season can be a winner. It’s the worst-rated among critics so far, and barely made a dent in cultural conversations over the summer.



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