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Truffles Create Stinky Situation On West Side

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- Truffles are a pricey delicacy at New York's top restaurants, but their pungent aroma can be an acquired taste, especially if it seeps into your West Side condominium.

At the upscale 10 West End Avenue, residents said they have been dealing with the pungent smell of truffles for months as they entered their lobby -- some of them can't stand it.

Residents told CBS 2's John Metaxas that the smell made them feel "really nauseous" and overwhelmed.

"Truffle oil is lovely when it's sprinkled on your pasta," resident Ena Lumba said, "It smells pretty bad when it's in your lobby."

The distinctive aroma, which some liken to rotting vegetables, comes from next door, where an Italian truffle importer sells the pricey fungal fruit.

"For me, it's a lovely aroma," Vittorio Giordano said.

Giordano peddles white truffles, black truffles, truffle oil and truffle cream. The boxes in his store, Urbani Truffles, are stacked to the ceiling. Giordano said the smell is part of the delicacy's allure.

"If the truffles smell really strong, we are happy because that means the quality of the product is good," Giordano said.

Next door, some say the smell has made it difficult to sell apartments.

"It really should sell, but considering the circumstances and first impressions people are getting, we're having sort of a difficult time moving the apartment," real estate agent Michael Graves said.

Giordano said he was installing an air system to deal with the problem. Until then, residents may just have to tolerate the trouble with the truffles.

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