Now with respect to Truffles.—They too spring of their own accord out of the ground; especially in sandy places. And Theophrastus says of them—“The truffle, which some people call the geranium, and all other such plants which grow beneath the earth.” And in another place he says- "The generation and production of these things which seed beneath the earth; as, for instance, of the truffle, and of a plant which grows around Cyrene, which they call misy. And it appears to be exceedingly sweet, and to have a smell like that of meat; and so, too, has a plant called itum, which grows in Thrace. And a peculiarity is mentioned as incidental to these things; for men say that they appear when there is heavy rain in autumn and violent thunder; especially when there is thunder, as that is a more stimulating cause of them: however, they do not last more than a year, as they are only annuals; they are in the greatest perfection in the spring, when they are most plentiful. Not but what there are people who believe that they are or can be raised from seed. At all events, they say that they never appeared on the shore of the Mitylenæans, until after a heavy shower some seed was brought from Tiaræ; and that is the place where they are in the greatest numbers. But they are principally found on the sea-shore, and wherever the ground is sandy; and that is the character of the place called Tiaræ. They are also found near Lampsacus, and also in Acarnania, and Alopeconnesus, and in the district of the Eleans. Lynceus the Samian says—“The sea produces nettles, and the land produces truffles;” and Matron, the man who wrote parodies, says in his “Supper”—
And he brought oysters, the truffles of Thetis the Nereid.[p. 103] Diphilus says that truffles are by nature indigestible, but that they are full of wholesome juice, and have lenitive qualities, and are very easily evacuated; though, like mushrooms, some of them are apt to produce suffocation. And Hegesander the Delphian says that no truffles are found in the Hellespont, and no fish of the kind called γλαυκίσκος, and no thyme. On which account Nausiclides said of the country, that it had no spring and no friends. But Pamphils says, in his “Languages,” that there is a plant called ὑδνόφυλλον, being a species of grass which grows on the top of the truffles, by which the truffle is discovered.