Tag Archives: white truffles

New truffles species discovered in Thailand

It was barely a week ago when it was revealed that scientists have made the groundbreaking discovery of what is possibly the world’s oldest wine in the depths of an abandoned cave in Italy. Now, researchers on the other side of the planet have dug up findings of their own that are set to change the face of the food world. According to research papers released by Thailand’s Chiang Mai University on September 7, 2017, two new types of truffle have been unearthed in the far northern area of the country

“We confirmed that they are truffles both from their DNA and their physical look,” says Jaturong Khamla, one of the researchers behind the new findings. One of the new species is a white-coloured truffle discovered in 2014, while the other, found a year later, has a brown exterior with a white interior. The species have been given the names “tuber thailanddicum” and “tuber lannaense” respectively.

In 2017, Khamla’s team also found another type of white truffle: “tuber magnatum”, the same species that is highly sought after in Italy.

The findings aren’t exactly a carbon copy of the beloved white truffles, however. “The white truffle (thailanddicum) is similar to the Italian white truffle but they have a mild smell and are smaller,” noted Khamla.

The discoveries were made at a national park surrounding Mount Suthep in northwestern Thailand. Unlike the rest of the country, Thailand’s mountainous north sees cooler and wetter weather — conditions in which truffles can thrive. Khamla and his team are specialists in fungi, having identified new mushroom species over the last 18 years. They have never seen anything like the truffles before, though. “These are first truffles found in a tropical climate,” announced an official press release. It is certainly a first for Southeast Asia.

Hunting Season in Italy’s Truffle Country

Hunting Season in Italy’s Truffle Country

“It is not a job. It’s a passion, a real sickness!” It is the early hours of the morning and Giovanni Sacchetto is explaining why chilly autumn nights find him trailing by moonlight through the woods around Alba in the Piedmont region of northern Italy.

Sacchetto, 64, and his beloved companion Dora, a sprightly Lagotto Romagnolo gundog, are on the hunt for white truffles, the hard-to-find fungi famed amongst foodies for their earthy scent, and their equally heady prices.

“I can go to bed at 11:00 pm and be up again at 3:00 am, ready to go out again,” Sacchetto says. “It is not for the money. It is a sickness you have inside. A truffle is a strange thing. And it’s lovely, because it’s so strange. You never know where you might find one. Never.”

Now nine, Dora has been Sacchetto’s constant companion since she was an eager young puppy learning how to use her sensitive nose to sniff out truffles buried beneath the forest floor.

“I’m not saying it is better than a wife, but for a truffle hunter his dog is something… indescribable,” Sacchetto says with a smile.

Part of humanity’s heritage

The Romagnolo breed is known for its acute sense of smell but individual dogs still have to be trained, starting with pieces of gorgonzola, the whiffy Italian blue cheese, buried under ground, before graduating to actual truffles.

Now when Dora locates a truffle, she wags her tail excitedly over the spot where a valuable tuber awaits – usually buried between 10-30 cm (4-12 inches) below the surface.

For her it is a game – her efforts rewarded with a treat in the form of a biscuit or a little piece of dry bread.

Sacchetto was 14 when he first went truffle hunting, with his grandfather. At the time, it was about putting food on the table, he recalls.

Now it is more of a hobby, but secret spots are still jealously guarded. “I’ve been doing this for 50 years, I know all the plants, all the paths.”

At one time, truffles were more plentiful but the cutting of some trees and the effects of pollution on others has reduced the autumnal bounty, he says.

Fears the delicate ecosystem that produces the white truffles could be at risk has triggered a crowdfunding initiative aimed at raising 50,000 euros to ensure better management of the local woodlands.

Antonio Degiacomi, president of the National Centre for the Study of Truffles, says wooded areas around Alba have been neglected, with faster growing species threatening to crowd out truffle-friendly trees like oaks and lime trees.

“There is not an imminent threat but we have to be pro-active,” he says.

Helpful measures include thinning denser woodland and planting new trees but coordinating action is complicated, notably because the hunters who know where truffles are produced often do not own the land on which they forage.

Like fine wine

Tracking down edible fungi is an Italian obsession with some 200,000 active enthusiasts nationwide, of whom 4,000 are based in Piedmont.

The country is so proud of its truffle culture that it has asked for it be enshrined on a list of humanity’s intangible heritage maintained by the UN’s culture body, UNESCO.

Alba is already well known in gastronomic circles as home to some of Italy’s most famous red wines and it has been hosting an annual white truffle fair since before World War II, drawing in thousands of gourmet pilgrims for nearly two months of tasting, buying and selling.

This year’s festivities conclude on November 27 and prices are averaging 3,000-4,000 euros ($3,300-$4,400) per kilo.

For Swiss enthusiast Marie-Claude, it is a price worth paying. “Just the scent is something unique,” she said. “Personally I like it best with something really simple, just on some pasta or a risotto.”

Matteo Baronetto, head chef at the Michelin-starred “Del Cambio” restaurant in nearby Turin, concurs.

“The thing that is very specific to the Alba truffle is the incomparable lightness of its aroma, and its elegance,” he says as he assembles a salad of seasonal vegetables speckled by ultra-fine shavings of the local delicacy.

“It is such a pure product of nature that us chefs have to be at the service of the truffle, and not the other way round.”

Harvested from September 21 until the end of January, truffles need both rain and cold to thrive, according to Sacchetto.

“The colder it is, the better the truffle,” he says, adding that no two are exactly alike. “The truffle is like wine, each zone has its own smell and those from Alba are the most perfumed.”

white truffle italy

Truffles fetch three times price of gold

white truffle italy

Eleven white truffles have gone under the hammer in Italy for 274,200 euros ($367,620), including a pair bought by an anonymous buyer in China who paid out 90,000 euros, auctioneers said 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 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.

The sums raised at the 14th edition of the White Truffle of Alba auction will be given to the Piedmont Foundation for Cancer Research. 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.

white Italian truffle

As Italian stocks crash, truffle prices go up

white Italian truffle

Italian stock markets are sharply down this year, but the price of white truffle has doubled to 3,000 euros ($4,100) per kilogram in just a week.

Truffle hunters say the increase is due to low average rainfall in areas where truffle is found, as well as higher demand — particularly from buyers in Asia where truffle tastes have taken off, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The price is now at around 3,000 euros for large truffles and some 2,500 euros per kilogramme for smaller tubers — far higher than last year.
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the most expensive hot dog

Most Expensive Hot Dog in the World

the most expensive hot dog

What was created as a novelty item last year has now been added to a popular New York restaurant menu permanently.

The ‘Serendipity Foot Long Haute Dog’ was admitted into the Guinness World Records last year for being the most expensive hot dog in the world, at $69.

Months after its creation, Serendipity 3, has now put the luxurious ‘haute’ dog on their menu for the deep-pocketed, hot dog aficionado.

The foot-long hot dog (30 cm) is made from pure beef, grilled in white truffle oil, sandwiched in a pretzel bun from Germany, and toasted with white truffle butter.
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Ian Purkayastha

At 18, he’s the US teen truffle tycoon

Ian Purkayastha

Ian Purkayastha’s teenage revolution didn’t involve rock groups, rebelling against his parents or embarrassing fashion experiments.

For him it was: “black truffle ravioli with foie gras sauce”.

And three years later, aged 18, Purkayastha not only remembers the “amazing” taste of that dish, but he’s turned himself into one of America’s leading truffle tycoons.
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Macau Casino Magnate Buys Truffles for $330,000

Stanley Ho recently matched his own world record price paid for a truffle when he bought a couple white truffles for a total cost of $330,000 at a truffle auction.

The billionaire made his winning bid through representatives at the event held at his own Grand Lisboa hotel in Macau last week end.

Ho’s winning bid bought him a giant truffle from Italy’s central Tuscany region that weighed about 900 grams and a smaller one of about 400 grams.
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Italian giant truffle sold for 105000 euros

A giant white truffle was sold off on Sunday for 105,000 euros (144,000 dollars) at a lavish auction near the town of Alba in northern Italy, organisers said.

The truffle, presented at the auction in the medieval Castello di Grinzane in a region of Italy famous for its cuisine, weighed 900 grammes.

The price per gramme for the truffle was therefore 117 euros — lower than the rate of 133 euros per gramme paid at the same auction last year.
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White truffle season is here

Economic woes have not lessoned the demand for the swine sniffing white truffles from Alba, Italy as well as parts of Croatia and France.

The ‘white gold’ peak season begins at the end of October with an expected price tag of €4,300 per kilogram.

According to The Sunday Times, “White truffles are cheaper this year, by as much as 40 per cent compared to last year’s peak prices.”

Chefs in Singapore including Luca Pezzera of Bonta have declared 2010 a very good year for white truffles and not just in price.
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Most expensive cheese sandwich

World’s most expensive cheese sandwich

Most expensive cheese sandwich

A U.K. chef has unveiled what might be the world’s most expensive cheese sandwich, according to London’s Guardian newspaper.

He’s charging 111 pounds, or $176, for the stack of special cheddar blended with white truffles and topped with a sprinkling of gold dust.

Chef Martin Blunos displayed his creation at the Frome cheese show in Somerset. Continue reading

The world’s priciest foods

According to The world’s priciest food list compiled by Fortune Small Business, a CNN magazine, world’s most expensive food is Edible gold leaf.

The edible gold leaf comes with a price tag of $15,000 per pound.

No worries, like calcium and iron, gold is actually a mineral that’s safe to eat although it’s not an essential part of the human diet ^_^
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Most Expensive Truffle

A Hong Kong property tycoon and his wife have reportedly paid $160,406 for a huge Italian white truffle in 2006, which may be the world’s most expensive ever.

Gordon Wu and his wife outbid connoisseurs from France and Italy to win the 3.3 pounds Alba white truffle from an international auction, a spokeswoman for the Ritz-Carlton hotel, which hosted the Hong Kong part of the auction, said.

It was the second time Hong Kong bidders won a pricey fungus at the annual auction, held in Grizane, Italy and satellite-linked with Paris and Hong Kong.

In 2005, a group of bidders in Hong Kong paid 95,000 euros for a 2.7-pound truffle, a purchase later named by Guinness World Records as the most valuable truffle bought at an auction.
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