White truffles fetch three times the price of gold at Italy auction

GRINZANE CAVOUR, Italy (AFP) - Eleven white truffles have gone under the hammer in Italy for 274,200 euros (S$456,926), including a pair bought by an anonymous buyer in China who paid 90,000 euros, auctioneers said on Monday.

A "famous Chinese writer" bidding by satellite telephone from Hong Kong fiercely outbid competitors for a 950-gram pair of truffles, organisers said, paying three times the price of gold for the white delicacy.

The auction, which took place on Sunday in the Grinzane Cavour castle in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, also saw 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.

"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 in a statement.

The sums raised at the 14th edition of the White Truffle of Alba auction 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.

The funds raised by the Hong Kong sale will go to the Mother's Choice institute which cares for orphans and mothers in difficulty, the organisers said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.