Late last week, we received a missive from Eataly (200 Fifth Avenue, 646-398-5100) announcing they would be selling white truffles “at cost,” later this week — online customers get a crack at them tomorrow, and in-house shoppers and diners can pick them up on Friday, December 20 — for the bargain-basement price of $4.48 per gram.
We doubt the absolute veracity of that claim. According to our truffle industry sources, there is always a markup — even now, even if it’s just a small one — and the business is opaque enough that there’s no way to know. But we won’t argue that $4.48/gram is a killer price. It’s about half what you’d pay for an equal amount of Banana Kush at a Colorado pot dispensary, and probably equally intoxicating when taken as directed.
So, if chefs recommend five to 10 grams of tableside truffling on an entree-sized pasta bowl, you’re only looking at a $25 to $50 supplement. That’s about half of what you’d normally pay at a restaurant…So, at cost or not at cost, it’s a deal all the same.