For centuries, truffles have been marketed as the ultimate luxury food, a precious morsel to be had in fancy restaurants. While this has kept their perceived value high, it has also made them off-putting to many consumers, and has prevented them from being widely embraced in many cultures. Americans know very little about truffles, and are intimidated from trying to learn more. This is a missed opportunity, because truffles are perfectly positioned to appeal to changing American tastes. They are powerful, exotic, mysterious, and excellent representatives of the landscapes in which they grow. They also speak to Americans’ growing interest in the flavors of the natural world. Rowan Jacobsen has spent the past two years visiting truffle hunters and truffle farms in half a dozen countries, and he presents his thoughts on what truffles mean to different cultures, and how they might be freed from their staid luxury prison in the United States and repositioned as a dynamic 21st-century ingredient.