Heard of truffles? Thank Rosario Safina. Long heralded as a supreme delicacy and cream of the edible fungi crop, truffles were expensive enough to have been considered out of reach for many. Safina became the driving force behind the popularization of truffles in the United States in the mid 1980s, instigating their transformation from elite luxury to accessible delicacy for millions of food lovers across the country. For 30 years now, his actions have spoken for truffles and the truffle industry louder than most.

Safina began making history with truffle product introductions in the United States, importing fresh truffles weekly, in season, in 1984, to the introduction of genuine truffle products in 1985. In 2002, he co-authored the first U.S.-published cookbook on truffles.

With the industry’s transformation and accessibility, though, an industry grew and truffles and the “truffle flavor” eventually changed. The demand spiked and lab-created, truffle-flavored chemicals replaced truffle products.

With a resolve in Safina to fuel a “Truth in Truffles” movement, he then created the first-ever organic truffle line, daRosario Organics, in 2004. He sought to bring back real truffles and real truffle flavor to the people—both chefs and home cooks—who want it. Not aroma, not essence, not extracts. And in 2008, daRosario Organics became the world’s first 100% USDA-Certified Organic truffle production company.

Safina’s depth of knowledge on truffles has made him a noted authority for the likes of Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, Vogue and CNN. Further, daRosario Organics’ truffle products are an official product of the Food Network’s “Iron Chef pantry” and have been featured in outlets including Food & Wine, InStyle, People, Everyday with Rachael Ray and CBS “The Early Show,” among others.

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