A West Kootenay truffle cousin?

A random Castlegar garden find sparks fun conjecture

Nick Chernoff does comparison with an online image of the real thing.

Except in more well-heeled circles, not much is known about the tasty sounding morsels known as truffles.

The reason is that they’re hard to find, and therefore, very expensive. Think in terms of caviar and Kobe Beef.

Truffles (sort of like a subterranean mushroom, well, sort of…) are known to be found in Italy, France and Spain, as far as Castlegar’s Vera and Nick Chernoff are aware.

Vera unearthed the potential gem on Tuesday, August 12 while working in her back yard flower garden.

“I was just cultivating the flower bed when I felt something hard,” she recalled. The object was about eight inches below the surface. “I thought it was a rock so I stuck in my hand and this is what I came up with. I thought it looked like a little potato.”

Vera showed Nick and they sliced it in half. Thinking truffle right away they became quite excited. If it’s a hoax, and someone ‘planted’ the organic clue in the flower garden, the practical joker would have gone to quite the effort and expense for a gag that may have so likely gone un-noticed.







The suspected truffle does have a rather tempting aroma, hinting at what could be a very nice flavour. But the Chernoffs weren’t allowing any tastes on Thursday morning.

“In an expensive restaurant they shave just a little bit over the top,” explained Vera. “They don’t really cook with them, it’s just for the smell, and the taste, that makes it a $100 plate.”

As it is, the South Castlegar residents are taking good care of the specimen and putting out feelers for some kind of expert analysis of the find.

Nick has a contact at Selkirk College who could be the one to shed some educated light on the issue but he hadn’t, as of August 14, been available.

One thing is certain, so far, the couple isn’t about to take a backhoe to their back yard just yet, even if this thing turns out to be very closely related to the truffles that go for hundreds of dollars a pound.

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