A lot of around 850 grammes (1.9 pounds) of white truffles was sold for 75,000 euros ($87,500) in a top Italian auction on Sunday.
The buyer from Hong Kong placed their winning bid via satellite at the World Alba White Truffles Auction at the Grinzane Cavour castle in Piedmont, northwestern Italy.
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.
Nevertheless, dry conditions this year had sent the market price soaring to 6,000 euros per kilogramme from 3,000-4,000 euros last year, she told AFP.
A recent drought influenced the quantity, “but not the quality of the truffles,” Gianicolo said.
“The situation has recently improved slightly, but it’s clear that it’s not going to be a great year. There certainly aren’t going to be very large truffles up for auction, even if they’re still very good truffles,” she said.
Alba has hosted Italy’s most famous white truffle market, during which the auction is held, for close to 90 years.