Rising global temperatures are worrying truffle hunters around the Italian town of Alba, where the most prized specimens can fetch twice the price of gold.
This particularly warm October, eight out of 10 white truffles unearthed by Carlo Olivero with his trusty 3-year-old dog Steel were dark, withered and dried out.
“They are clearly signs of the temperatures,’’ Olivero said, holding one that he kept in his pocket. The rest he consigned to the soil, allowing the spores to spread and hopefully replenish future production.
Alba, located in the northwestern region of Piedmont, has earned the moniker “white truffle capital of the world” for its particularly fragrant variety of truffle, its truffle fair each fall and its annual charity auction, which pushes prices of the tuber magnatum pico up into the stratosphere.
A truffle weighing 1,005 grams (2 pounds, 3.4 ounces) fetched 120,000 euros ($133,000) — more than twice the price of gold — from a Hong Kong buyer at this…
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