Tuber magnatum , White Truffle, or Alba madonna or White Diamonds
Where Do They Come From?
- Langhe and Montferrat areas of the Piedmont region in northern Italy
- Most famously and known to be the best, in the countryside around the cities of Alba and Asti
- Molise, Italy and in the hills around San Miniato, in Tuscany
- Croatia, on the Istria peninsula in the Motovun forest alongside Mirna river
Uncut they resemble white dusty small potatoes but once sliced their flesh is pale cream or tan with white or ivory marbling. They have a pungent aromatic and particular scent.
This expensive ingredient is know to grow alongside with oak, hazel, poplar and beech trees and are harvested in autumn. Their size ranges normally up to 12cm diameter and 500 grams.
The white truffle market in Alba (Italy) is busiest in the months of October and November - coincides with their Fiera del Tartufo (truffle fair).
The price of this ingredient went from US$1,000 and $2,200 per pound (US$2000 to US$4500 per kg) in 2001, to about $12,400 per kilogram in 2009.
Guinness Book of Records recorded one of the largest truffles in the world near Buje, Croatia which was found by Giancarlo Zigante and his dog Diana. It weighed 1.31 kilograms (2 lb 14 oz).
Record price paid for a single white truffle: Macau casino owner Stanley Ho paid US$330,000 (£165,000) in December 2007 for a specimen weighing 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb), discovered by Luciano Savini and his dog Rocco near Pisa, Italy. This record was then matched on November 27, 2010 when Ho again paid US$330,000 for a pair of white truffles including one weighing nearly a kilogram.
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