The previous record belonged to Croatia. It was black and weighed 1.31 kg. The record stood since 1999. Then in 2014, the Italian whites took over. It was a year to remember in the world of truffles.
The story begins with the weather in 2014. The summer rains of record disappointed vacationers, but, at the same time, delighted passionate truffle lovers. Then, beginning in autumn, truffle hunters continued to discover fantastic treasures hidden in the earth and brought to light by dogs with an excellent sense of smell. (See my post from October 2014 on the Lagotto Romagnola, the Italian dog that hunts for truffles.)
On November 3 or 4, a white truffle of almost a chilo and a half (1,483 to be precise) was discovered in the woods in the province of Campobasso in the Region of Molise. Italy was confirmed the country of “tuber magnatum” for the Guinness records.
But not so fast. There wasn’t even enough time to register the new weight when a week later it needed to be corrected.
Give credit to Ray, the dog who went in search of truffles with his owner Matteo in Bassa Romagna (province of Ravenna, region of Emilia-Romagna) and excavated a white one of a good 1.878 kilograms, at least 400 grams larger than the Molinese one. But it doesn’t end there.
On November 27 this incredible white truffle was unearthed in central Italy (Umbria region) with a weight of almost 1.89 kilograms (about the size of an American football). Then the title of the largest in the world was bestowed on this one. The owner was Sabatino Truffles (American headquarters are in West Haven, Connecticut), the Italian company of the Balestra family who has exported truffles around the world since 1911. The company put the truffle up for auction at Sotheby’s the next week in New York with the proceeds to go to charity. Many preliminary offers came from China, Dubai, etc, estimated at more than a million dollars. If this had been confirmed, it would have established a new record of sale for the priciest white truffle. But, in fact, the price at auction was $61,250. The truffle was acquired by a Taiwanese gourmand by telephone.