Ma­cau casino mogul bids $330 000 for two truf­fles

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - AUCTIONS -

A MA­CAU casino mogul bid $330 000 (R2.32m) for a pair of white truf­fles, in­clud­ing one weigh­ing about 900g, match­ing the record price he paid at the same event three years ago for one of the gi­ant fungi.

Bil­lion­aire Stan­ley Ho made the win­ning bid at a char­ity auc­tion through rep­re­sen­ta­tives of his com­pany, So­ciedade de Jo­gos de Ma­cau.

The pair in­cluded a huge truf­fle dug up in the cen­tral Tus­cany re­gion of Italy weigh­ing about 900g, as well as one found in Molise weigh­ing about 400g.

The auc­tion was staged at Ho’s Grand Lis­boa ho­tel in the for­mer Por­tuguese colony of Ma­cau, with bid­ders par­tic­i­pat­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously in Rome and London through a satel­lite link.

In 2007, Ho paid $330 000 for a white truf­fle un­earthed in Tus­cany weigh­ing about 1.5kg.

Ho is best known for his casi­nos in Ma­cau, a gam­bling en­clave in south­ern China near Hong Kong.

Six­teen lots of white truf­fles from dif­fer­ent ar­eas of Italy went on the block, rais­ing a to­tal of $373 500 for var­i­ous char­i­ties in Ma­cau, Bri­tain and Italy.

White truf­fles are the most ex­pen­sive and highly prized of Italy’s truf­fles, and among the most fa­mous are those from Alba in the north­ern Pied­mont re­gion, where pigs or dogs are used to sniff them out dur­ing the Septem­ber to De­cem­ber hunt­ing sea­son.

Dur­ing the truf­fle sea­son in Italy, restau­rants of­fer pasta and other dishes con­tain­ing the ed­i­ble fun­gus at sky-high prices.

Sliv­ers of the del­i­cacy, with its strong aroma, are prized for flavour­ing pasta sauces and rice dishes. – Sapa-AP

PIC­TURE: AP

FAB­U­LOUS FUNGI: A pair of white truf­fles at a char­ity auc­tion in Ma­cau. Bil­lion­aire Stan­ley Ho bid $330 000 for them, match­ing the record price he paid at the same event three years ago for one of the gi­ant tu­bers.

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