a white truffle sold 120,000 euros to the traditional sale of Alba

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A white truffle of just over 1 kg was auctioned 120,000 euros, or about 120 euros per gram, Sunday, at the 20th World Auction held in Alba, near Turin, AFP reported.

The sale took place in connection with Moscow, Singapore and Hong Kong where the purchaser was, whose identity was not revealed.

The price of this exceptional truffle does not correspond to the market price which is currently around 375 euros per 100 grams in the market of Alba, which serves as a national reference, according to Coldiretti, the main Italian agricultural organization.

An extremely famous truffle

Every year for 88 years, the city of Alba, in Piedmont, hosts for nearly two months a large white truffle fair during which the auction takes place.

The white truffle of Alba, which is harvested from September 21st to January 31st, is extremely famous.

The sale, whose benefit is traditionally donated to charity, this year brought in 120,000 euros, which will go to the "Mother's Choice" Institute of Hong Kong, which helps children without families and young mothers in difficulty, and at Dmitry Rogachev Center in Moscow, specializing in research on childhood cancer.

"The price of white truffles increased by 50% in one month from 250 euros to 375 euros per 100 grams." between early October and early November, says the Coldiretti in a statement.

Prices are "far from the highest in recent years, 500 euros in 2012 and 450 euros in 2017 for 100 grams for parts weighing an average of 20 grams," says the organization.

A precious mushroom

Tuber magnatum Pico, a learned name for white truffle, grows in soils that must remain cool and moist in the germination phase as well as in the ripening phase.

A fungus living underground, it consists of a high percentage of water and minerals absorbed by the soil thanks to the roots of the tree with which it lives in symbiosis. It grows near the roots of pine, holm oak, cork oak and oak from which it derives its characteristics (color, taste and smell).

In Italy, it is found in particular in Piedmont, Marche, Tuscany and Umbria (northern and central regions) but also further south in Lazio and Calabria.

According to the Coldiretti, more than 100,000 official collectors are involved in the supply of white truffle shops, restaurants and businesses for an estimated turnover of about 500 million euros, whether fresh product, preserved or transformed.



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