I'm sure it's largely true, but I'd have found the Times article more convincing if the author had found at least one reliable source and explained what it takes (or would take) to make the real stuff. His hedging use of "most" implies that somewhere somebody is using real truffles. Another little thing in the article (which I read quickly): white truffles from elsewhere turn up at the Alba truffle market. This is department of shocked, shocked. In fact (so it was explained to me in Alba) tartufo d'Alba is the name of a type of tuber, not a geographic restriction, and they grow, largely uncredited, in many parts of Italy. Just as marble from around the world is distributed from Carrara, truffles from lots of places are sold at the Alba market. Not that that has to do with the oil. I went to the Volpetti shop this morning and saw a bowl of little bottles of (black) truffle oil atop the fancy cheese display. I asked Claudio Volpetti so what about all this laboratory oil. After a certain amount of verbal acrobatics and tasting of oil and oil mixed with balsamico, I asked him again, so is any of it real? Yes, he said. Some of it is. This stuff is real. How can you tell? I can't, he said, but I know the people who make it, and I trust them. It comes down to relationships. This stuff comes from Valnerina, near our home. Inconclusive, of course, but I'm just passing it along. I wish I could remember what the label said, but from there I went to Checchino for lunch and am lucky I can remember my name.