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White Truffle Prices Are Shockingly Low This Year

Millennials are hurting the canned tuna industry, plus more news to start your day

Getty Images/Brad Barket

A less expensive truffle shuffle for 2018

Due to heavy rainfall this year, Northern Italy is producing a bumper crop of white truffles, resulting in lower prices for the fancy fungi. A kilo of fresh white truffles is selling for between €2,000 to €2,500 (around $1,030 to $1,286 per pound) in Italy, which is roughly half the price of last year’s crop. “If we can’t find any truffles, then a high price isn’t much use to anybody,” Maurizio Grazioso, an Italian truffle hunter tells the Wall Street Journal. “And we want the truffle to be available to everybody, not just the elite.” Restaurants are expected to pass along the savings to customers: Del Posto, one of several Manhattan restaurants that Mario Batali is divesting from, is offering a 10 gram supplement for $190 this year, compared to $240 last year.

Millennials take down another normcore food

After killing the mid-level chain, mayonnaise, and American cheese, millennials are apparently putting the squeeze on the canned tuna industry. “A lot of millennials don’t even own can openers,” says Andy Mecs, the VP of marketing for Starkist. Overall consumption of canned tuna has dropped by 42 percent over the last three decades. To try to turn business around, StarKist introduced canned salmon and chicken, as well as new tuna pouches with flavors like “Hot Buffalo Style, Sriracha and Spicy Korean Style with Gochujang.”

Bug juice is so hot right now

For decades, Campari was made using ground-up cochineal beetles, which gave the spirit its distinctive red color. The company stopped the practice back in 2006, but now a number of independent aperitivo producers have taken up using the insects to color their spirits. Using the bugs is both a way for these artisan liquor makers to pay homage to the past, while also eschewing the use of artificial dyes to color their alcohol. “Given the option of petroleum byproduct and smushed-up bugs, the bugs won out,” Lance Winters, the master distiller at St. George Spirits, tells the New York Times.

And in other news...

  • Trade Joe’s finally sets the record straight about Jingle Jangle, the snack that shares a name with an elicit substance on Riverdale:
  • José Andrés’s non-profit organization World Central Kitchen is now feeding families at a refugee shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. [Twitter, Twitter]
  • Le Chef magazine’s list of the 100 greatest chefs in the world has 96 men and only four women. [Fine Dining Lovers]
  • The Michelin Guide has acquired Tablet, a boutique hotel-finding site. [Skift]
  • Kid Rock got booted from the lineup of a Nashville Christmas parade after he called Joy Behar a “bitch” on Fox & Friends, so now James Shaw Jr., the hero who wrestled the gun out of the hand of a Waffle House shooter last April, will serve as the grand marshal. [The Hill]
  • Hostess is going to launch mini powdered doughnut and cinnamon bun cereals next year. [Food Beast]
  • And finally, here’s Eric Ripert on CBS This Morning, reflecting on the legacy of his Manhattan restaurant Le Bernardin, and his friendship with late author/TV star Anthony Bourdain: