Rome

White truffle season kicks off with prices lower than 2011

Yearly fair in Piedmont to celebrate the haute cuisine darling

White truffle season kicks off with prices lower than 2011

(ANSA) - Rome, October 3 - Gastronomes and enthusiasts of the prized and pungent fungus known as the white truffle are set for a great 2012 season with prices dipping down to 300 euros for 100 grams, 20% lower than 2011. The most prestigious truffles are found mostly in the Piedmont region near the town of Alba, where a yearly fair celebrating and auctioning the culinary treasure takes place. This year's fair kicks off on October 5 with an inaugural celebration and runs through November 18. Because of the hot and dry summer, trifoleaux (truffle experts) initially predicted slim pickings. Thanks to recent rainfall, the season is set to bring "flavor galore and plenty for all," Antonio Degiacomi, president of the fair, said at a presentation on Wednesday. White truffles are more pungent, rare and expensive than black ones, which have a longer growing season and are more common in the center and south of Italy. On November 11, the annual World Truffle Auction at the Grinzane Cavour castle outside of Alba will once again attract tycoons from all over the world to contend for the most valued tubers on the market this season. "The fair attracts 500-600,000 people every year. Truffles are sold and consumed on site for a minimum mark-up compared to restaurants," Degiacomi said.

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