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I have never tasted truffles so my wife splurged and bought a few for me from a local gourmet store. They smelled like earth. However, after I cleaned them with a brush and a little water the aroma went completely away, so I guess I was just smelling some soil that was stuck to them. The problem is that they have almost no taste at all, except for a very, very faint mushroom flavor.

Could it be that they had been stored too long before they were sold? Do they lose their flavor in storage?