I first encountered truffles last summer -- after reading about them, wondering about them, gazing at the listings in food catalogues and wincing at their cost, occasionally sprinkling some drops of truffle oil onto a dish of rice -- when I spent a couple of weeks at a writers' conference in Italy. The conference took place in Spoleto, a small medieval town circling a mountaintop, a place of ancient buildings and ubiquitous religious iconography that was blissfully innocent of supermarkets, strip malls... More >>>