By Far the Most Expensive Thing at Safeway
Read the caption “Product of USA”.
(The journalist didn’t even pay attention).
What the heck are they selling?
Summer truffles? Then price is nonsense.
Winter truffles? Then it’s not USA.
Rice is definitely NOT the medium.
Truffles lose a lot of weight by evaporation, in the order of 1% per day.
If you lose weight, you lose money.
That's why truffles are best kept wrapped in some medium ( usu. paper or cloth ) that will retain a moist environment around each piece.
Rice absorbs way too much moisture.
Why is it done? Historically ( and still in present times...) some dishonest merchants would sell the rice afterwards as "truffle flavored rice", but that is plain BS: truffle flavors are highly volatile and will disappear at the high temperatures rice is cooked.
There are domestic truffles (look up Tennessee Truffles) and those might be some kind of non-absorbant packing peanuts.
How much does a truflle weight? Maybe 3 oz? So $999/lb isn't really so bad. Maybe I'll go pick one up. And some Foie gras, too.