Heavy price to pay for a mushroom

Marketplace Staff Nov 30, 2007


Scott Jagow: In Italy, the most sought-after food is a fungus.
tartufo mushrooms, or white truffles, are prized for their musky flavor. I’m sure they are. A farmer in Northern Italy just found the biggest truffle in the past 50 years. It’ll be sold in an international auction for a lot of money. More from Megan Williams.

Megan Williams: They call it a “white diamond.” It’s tough, though, to imagine anything that looks less diamond-like than a tartufo mushroom, or truffle, a gnarly ball of fungus that grows underground in Tuscany.

But don’t let looks get in the way. This year’s prized white truffle, weighing in at more than 3 pounds, could net close to $200,000. They’re so precious, in fact, that they’re sliced with razors onto pasta and rice dishes, giving them that sought-after “je ne sais quoi” for foodies with a lot of money to spare.

Last years’s truffle went to a Hong Kong businessman for $160,000. Proceeds from the auction go to charity.

In Rome, I’m Megan Williams for Marketplace.

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