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Food and wine
Piedmont

Diamond of Alba: The White Truffle

One of Italy's excellent food and wine products, as precious as the land where it is made.

3 minutes

If someone asks you: "Do you know tuber magnatum pico?", maybe your reply would not be immediate, but you would probably know for sure the one called white truffle. It is actually the same product: it is the most valuable truffle type, both from a gastronomic and a purely economic point of view. In fact, because of the very high cost, it is considered as a precious diamond. Surely among the most popular ones is the white truffle of Alba (CN), a town located in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont region, which holds the record for the oldest White Truffle Fair which takes place between October and November.

A fair full of events, for locals and tourists alike, which reaches its climax on November 13th with the Worldwide Auction Sale of the White Truffles of Alba, taking place in the Hall of Masks in the Castle of Grinzane. Cities around the world attend the live auction remotely. In past years cities such as Paris, Hong Kong, Moscow, Las Vegas, London, Munich in Bavaria, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles and Hollywood also took part in the event).

Since its beginning, the event has been conceived as an unmissable international event and over the years has been characterised by the participation of many VIPs, from athletes such as Joe di Maggio to film directors as Alfred Hitchcock, and from King Farouk to actors such as Ugo Tognazzi, Alain Delon, Gerard Depardieu and many others. This can be considered a world-record holder auction, as for instance in the 2010 edition 13 truffles have been purchased for a total of 307,200 euros, and it is specifically aimed at increasing awareness of the white truffle of Alba at a national and international level. The most valuable two were sold in Hong Kong for 105,000 euros and in Grinzane for 100,000 euros. In 2009 Hong Kong also won at auction the most valuable truffle, weighing 750 grams, sold for 100,000 euros.

In order to change the perception that truffles are just for an élite audience, the event organizers chose to donate part of the money raised from the auction to charity: from scholarships and charitable organizations to national and international institutions.

Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that, leading up to November 13th, the town of Alba is a flurry of appointments and initiatives, starting with the World Truffle Market event, where visitors can find many types of truffles, analysed and certified by a monitoring committee, which acts as a consumers' desk, operating throughout the exhibition's opening hours and to whom the purchasers can refer at any time.

Setting of the event is the Food and Wine Exhibition called AlbaQualità: more than a hundred stalls where tourists can not only buy, but also simply enjoy all the typical flavours from the areas of Langhe and Roero: from home made pastry to cheese and cured meats. However, the fine wines of this magnificent land will be the real protagonists of the event: Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, Favorita, Arneis and Moscato, all fine wines that have made the Langhe area famous at international level. An infinite number of products that make the lands that produce them even more special: one more reason to visit this fascinating area of Piedmont region.

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