According to the New York Times, some scientists are quite aroused over their recent discoveries about the crazy-sexy-times of certain black truffles. Of course, these scientists are French, because there is nothing sexier than a French scientist, biting into a succulent French truffle. Ooh la la, mon dieu, etc.
At first, I thought that the sexiest thing about the article was the title: “Unearthing the Sex Secrets of the Périgord Black Truffle.” I like secrets! I like sex! I like truffle mac and cheese!
But then I started reading. It turns out, everyone has been going around thinking that truffles were asexual for the longest time. But really, under cover of dark, truffles have been getting it on freaky-style in clandestine spots like woods and forests and rest-stop bathrooms. And they have not one but two sexes. (Just like us!)
That was exciting, but then things went downhill. The rest of the piece had to be skimmed like I used to read Clan of the Cave Bear back in seventh grade — you know, for the dirty parts.
For you, the CliffsNotes:
• Boars and squirrels are driven wild by truffle perfumes, designed to mimic their own sex hormones!
• Truffle flies lay their eggs in the truffle! [Not sexy? Oh, sorry.]
• The black truffle has a [ahem] large genome, but it has fewer genes than other fungi, possibly because it has chosen a very specialist lifestyle [double ahem] and so needs fewer genes than does a generalist fungus!
• People who use sows to hunt for truffles often find it hard to prevent a sex-crazed animal from eating the truffle she has found, and may lose fingers in the attempt!
Well, that’s just relationships in a nutshell, isn’t it?