Truffles are rare and hard to find, making them one of the most expensive ingredients on Earth. A black truffle recently dug up by a dog name Poppy is impressive even by fine-dining standards. As the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports, the dog's discovery weighs two pounds and is worth an estimated $1000.
The truffle-sniffing dog in training was scouring a farm called Tasmanian Truffles in Australia when she detected the massive fungi. Poppy's excavation skills revealed a truffle that was not only huge, but larger than any truffle found on the farm in its 20-year history.
"It just kept going and I started to get more and more excited," Anna Terry, daughter of Tasmanian Truffles's founder Tim Terry, told ABC. Any truffle over 500 grams is considered large, and while this one isn't the biggest ever found in Australia, it's a record-breaker for the farm.
Though truffles are commonly associated with pigs, dogs have become the truffle-hunting animal of choice at many farms. Several breeds can be trained to recognize the funky scent, and unlike some pigs, they're willing to give up what they find instead of eating it. As Poppy has demonstrated, dogs are also just as likely to find the most valuable truffles hidden beneath the surface.
A black truffle of this size would be worth roughly $1000 USD under normal circumstances, but that number means a lot less during the COVID-19 crisis. Fancy dining rooms around the world are closed, and with a lack of potential buyers, the Terrys may be forced to turn the truffle into a very indulgent meal at home.