Alba, a small town in the northwestern region of Piemonte, is known as Italy’s white truffle capital.
It has hosted Italy’s most famous white truffle market, during which the auction is held, for close to 90 years.
Every year at this time it hosts the famous International Alba White Truffle Fair, which attracts around 100,000 visitors from all over the world who come to buy, sell and smell the tasty tuber.
Dry weather and changing climate patterns have hit production and sent prices soaring. Over the past 25 years, there has been a 30 percent decrease in truffle production. In some places, they are disappearing altogether.
Truffle hunter Marilena Tarable says with this week’s much needed rain the truffles have started growing a little bigger and a bit rounder because the earth has softened.
“But up until now, with the very hard earth, it’s really hard to extract them,” she says.
A highlight of the fair is the truffle auction, now in its eighteenth year, with proceeds going to charitable causes. This Sunday it took place in Grinzane Cavour Castle with live satellite links to Hong Kong and Dubai. The winning bidder for the biggest truffle at this year’s auction, from Hong Kong, paid 75,000 euros for a well-rounded truffle weighing 850 grams.
Isabelle Gianicolo of the National Truffle Study Centre noted that the auction price was “symbolic” and did not necessarily reflect the true market price, since the proceeds were donated to charitable causes.
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2017/11/18/2003682450