Digging for white gold


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A truffle is seen on a table in Alba, north-western Italy, November 11, 2013. Located in the heart of the Langhe, the hilly southern area of Italy's northwestern Piedmont region, Alba is the country's capital of white truffles. The prized fungus grows two to eight inches below the ground near the roots of trees. They give off an odor which lasts for a limited period of time and can be detected with the assistance of well-trained dogs and experienced hunters. Output of white truffles, which are not cultivated and only grow naturally in forests, has fallen in Italy over the past few years, largely because climate change has brought a damaging mix of drought and torrential rains. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini