Alba White Truf­fle

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Food For Thought -

WHAT? Truf­fles, in gen­eral, have long been con­sid­ered a gas­tro­nomic in­dul­gence. How­ever, the Alba White truf­fle stands in a league of its own. Thought to be one of the most lux­u­ri­ous food in­gre­di­ents avail­able, the white tu­ber ma­g­a­n­tum is truly an ex­pe­ri­ence to be had. With a deeper, muskier scent than the reg­u­lar truf­fle, the taste is as pi­quant to your palate as the scent is as mes­meris­ing. WHY? A big rea­son as to why truf­fles in gen­eral are con­sid­ered a lux­ury are their elu­sive na­ture (as they never grow in the same place twice), their wild na­ture as well as their di­min­ish­ing pres­ence. The lat­ter is due to is­sues such as cli­mate change and in­ad­e­quate agri­cul­tural land­scape. The white truf­fle is ac­tu­ally a rarer find com­pared to its si­b­ling, and so the ex­clu­siv­ity of com­ing upon a healthy and ideal white truf­fle is an un­com­mon trea­sure that re­sults in its ex­or­bi­tant price. A high de­mand comes equipped with a high price. WHERE? With the clue in the name, the Alba White Truf­fle is most fa­mously from around the ital­ian coun­try­side sur­round­ing the ci­ties of Alba and Asti. They can also be found in Langhe and the Mon­fer­rat areas of the Pied­mont re­gion in North Italy. Ev­ery year be­tween Oc­to­ber and No­vem­ber, the town of Alba hosts a yearly fes­ti­val known as the “In­ter­na­tional Alba White Truf­fle Fair”, with this year be­ing the 88th year of the fair. HOW MUCH? The “In­ter­na­tional Alba White Truf­fle Fair” that con­venes ev­ery year in the fall-win­ter sea­sons of Oc­to­ber and No­vem­ber is used to set a ref­er­ence point for the price and qual­ity of truf­fles across the coun­try, which then trans­lates in­ter­na­tion­ally. Cur­rently, how­ever, the price of the white truf­fle has in­creased set­ting it­self at an all time high of GBP 6,000 per kilo, com­pared to five years ago when it was GBP 5,000 per kilo. This re­cent in­crease is at­trib­uted to an un­favourable cli­mate that has also el­e­vated the price of olives and wines from the sur­round­ing areas.

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