90,000 euros for 950-gram Tuber magnatum Pico

The white truffle auction.

White truffles fetched three times the price of gold at a truffle fair in Alba (Italy), an event captivating connoisseurs throughout the world. The world’s premier white truffle auction transforms Alba in the centre of the gourmet world.

The white truffle, alias Tuber magnatum Pico, is a white delicacy praised like a precious diamond. The white is most valuable truffle type, from all points of view. At this year’s Fiera del Tartufo 2013 (Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba), the finest specimen, a 950-gram pair of truffles were sold for 90,000 euros to a”famous Chinese writer” bidding by satellite telephone from Hong Kong. Other Eleven white truffles have gone under the hammer for 274,200 euros ($367,620). An unnamed buyer snap up a 305-gram specimen to be given as a gift to New York’s new mayor, Italo- American Bill De Blasio, announced AFP.


“It is an exceptional result, another edition which has given us great satisfaction,” Tomaso Zanoletti, head of the Piedmont region’s wine body, Cavour Enoteca, said.

“Truffles thrive ten to fifteen centimetres under the ground in cool and humid milieus. The delicate truffle hunting process, also called cavage, must be effectuated with a cavadou, a special pick-like tool which makes it possible to unearth truffles without damaging them. The mushroom is generally found near the roots of five trees: oak (common, holly, sessile…); poplar (black and white); willow; linden; and hazel, all of which thrive in the region around Alba. The truffle’s colour should be whitish to dark beige, and it may have pink veins. Compact to the touch, it smells of wild garlic with a hint of minerals,” explains Gautier Battistella for travel.michelin.

Profits will be given to the Piedmont Foundation for Cancer Research and go toward the purchase of a CAT scanner for the “San Lazzaro” hospital in Alba.