Three white truffles have sold for $87,400 at the 18th annual World Alba White Truffle Auction in Italy. The 1.9 pounds of fungi were foraged by truffle hunter Mario Aarile and his dog, Lady, a mere two days before the auction. The smart dog was able to find the delicacies 16 inches underground. It is reportedly one of the biggest truffle discoveries in the hills of Alba, Italy’s white truffle capital.
The New York Post reports that Italy is going through its worst truffle season in years after a rainless summer and fall, with truffle prices increasing to $3,000 to $4,000 per pound.
“It’s not an exceptional year. It’s a poor year, with very high prices and very few truffles,” truffle hunter and seller Gianluca Sacchetto told Reuters.
Still, the specific tasting fungi are in high demand. The auction not only included in-person attendees at the Grinzane Cavour Castle, but also included a live satellite link to Hong Kong and Dubai.
The high-priced truffles were bid on and won by Hong Kong billionaire Eugene Fung. All proceeds from the event will go to charitable causes. Don’t know the first thing about truffles? Here’s a guide to mushroom varieties.