For Ian Purkayastha, truffles aren’t just some insanely expensive fungi. They’re a lifestyle, albeit a lucrative and competitive one.
Purkayastha is the owner of Regalis Foods, a Brooklyn-based specialty food purveyor that sells truffles and housemade truffle products, as well as wild mushrooms, caviar, Japanese Waygu beef, foraged foods, and exotic items like paw paw fruit.
In its newest video “A Day with the Dealer,” MUNCHIES follows the 21-year-old Purkayastha as he sells mushrooms to Daniel, salmon milt or sperm sack to Morimoto (Momofuku bought some too), and who-knows-what to some of the most notable restaurants in NYC out of his unmarked white fan. The anonymous vehicle isn’t nefarious, though—it’s unmarked so Purkayastha’s competitors won’t slash his tires. The competition between the three main truffle companies in NYC is pretty ruthless?
Watch the video, and read our five favorite quotes from “A Day with the Dealer” below.
On his unmarked van
“I don’t put my logo on the van because I don’t want my competitors saying who we’re selling to…during truffle season I get lots of different threats. There’s lots of, like, elicit activity that takes place.”
On seeing a competitor
“Oh my god I hate those people so much. I can’t believe I just saw them. Talk about smugglers, these are the people that smuggle truffles back and forth from Italy and completely fuck things up because they avoid going through USDA—through, you know, agriculture—through FDA; and they just bring them in in their suitcase.”
On selling truffles to chefs
“They each go through each truffles, and smell each truffle, and squeeze each truffle, and then we weigh them up and do the deal.”
On the suprisingly delicious taste of salmon milt
“It’s, like, super creamy.”
On Impulse Buying
“I overpack my delivery van with tons of product in hopes that when Im selling to a restaurant that has already ordered something, they’ll come up to the van and look through all my stuff and impulse buy something that looks really amazing in the truck and nine times out of 10 that’s always the case.”
On his girlfriend
“My girlfriend doesn’t even like mushrooms which, you know, is ironic because I’ve always got mushrooms in the fridge.”