Beijing (English) - - INFO -

Truf­fle auc­tions oc­curred in the 1940s and 1950s in Alba, Italy and were later held by Sotheby’s and Christie’s as well. De­spite vi­brant truf­fle busi­ness in China in re­cent years, a truf­fle auction has never been held in China in a real sense un­til Au­gust, 2018.

In the mid­dle of Au­gust 2018, Hua Lifu, China’s most au­thor­i­ta­tive truf­fle spe­cial­ist and head of the Yun­nan Branch of the Wild Mush­room As­so­ci­a­tion, and Zhang Xiao­han, an auc­tion­eer with in­ter­na­tional pres­tige, held an auction ban­quet din­ner at Feast, Bei­jing’s first Czech res­tau­rant. To­plevel truf­fles were auc­tioned.

Hua Li­fuha trav­elled around the world look­ing for black truf­fles. He men­tioned that black truf­fles re­quire very spe­cific con­di­tions to grow and thrive in. Many fac­tors af­fect their qual­ity such as the ph value of the soil, the tem­per­a­ture and pre­cip­i­ta­tion. The ex­cep­tion­ally good nat­u­ral con­di­tions in south­west France are per­fect for grow­ing black truf­fles. It does not fol­low, how­ever, that high- qual­ity black truf­fles can only grow in France. To­day, Hua Lifu is the only Chi­nese ci­ti­zen who has mas­tered spe­cial tech­nolo­gies and tech­niques re­lated to truf­fle plant­ing, pick­ing, screen­ing, qual­ity in­spec­tion, ap­pli­ca­tion and deep pro­cess­ing.

The auction fea­tured the win­ter black truf­fle ( Tu­ber Me­lanospo­rum Vitt). This is the most pre­cious kind of black truf­fle among the dozens of va­ri­eties in the world. It has a com­plex fra­grance. Ro­mance authors and other peo­ple be­lieved that this type of fra­grance can stir de­sire in hu­mans. An anec­dote stat­ing that Napoleon could not give birth to a son un­til he ate this truf­fle spread far and wide. The price of truf­fles sky rock­eted, and truf­fles be­came a kind of mys­te­ri­ous food, af­ford­able only by princes, dukes and aris­to­crats. At this auction, a piece of black truf­fle weigh­ing 337 gram was auc­tioned at a price of 8,000 yuan, and an­other piece weigh­ing 389 gram was auc­tioned at a price of 10,000 yuan.

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