Cafaggiolo Castle, Truffle Satellite Auction with London and New York
|A 495 grams white truffle of the Tuber Magnatum Pico variety (about 17.5 oz.)|
|Original photograph: Gualtiero Santucci|
The finest Tuscan truffles went under the hammer from the ancient Medici Castle of Cafaggiolo, in Barberino di Mugello, near Florence. Thanks to Beppe Bigazzi, chairman and Giselle Oberti, producer, the direct television link brought the two international sites, with guests from show business and the world of finance who share a passionate interest in Italian products, right into the action.
Despite the drought, last year the auction established a record, selling a 430 grams truffle found in Pisa's countryside, for $35.000 to a consortium of buyers from Los Angeles. This year there's a new record! An 850 grams truffle sold for $52.000 to a group of buyers gathered at the Zafferano restaurant in London.
In New York, Mel Gibson, Bono from U2, Elle Mc Pherson, Sharon Stone and other stars were spotted at the auction. On the other side of the ocean, at London's Zafferano restaurant, Russian magnate Abramovich chairman of the Chelsea Football Club (Chealsea's soccer team) , Sarah Ferguson, notoriously linked to Tuscany, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow were noticed among others. At the historic Cafaggiolo Castle among the hosts were Andrea Bocelli, Carlo Conti, Antonella Clerici and star chefs Fulvio Pierangelini and Gianfranco Vissani.
The proceedings from the auction go to the Florence and London branches of the Meyer Hospital,to the Foundation "Children in Crisis", whose chairwoman is the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, as well as to the Food Bank in New York.
The yearly auction is promoted by the Tuscan Regional Council and the provinces of Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Pisa and Grosseto to showcase the high quality and wide ranging production of different truffle varieties throughout the year. To commemorate the occasion, the finest regional food products were served paired with wines offered by Tuscan winemakers Marchesi Antinori, Biondi Santi, Castello Banfi, Castello di Fonterutoli, Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, Fattoria di Magliano, Castello d'Albola, Tenuta Setteponti and Podere Forte. For every case of truffles sold, these vineyards presented buyers with bottles, magnums and super magnums of their best wines.
The season is now at its height and the white truffles, Tuber Magnatum Pico, strictly Tuscan, is mature. This truffle variety can reach notable dimensions. It should not be forgotten that the biggest truffle in the world was found in San Miniato (Pisa) in 1954, weighing 2.5 kilos (55.115 oz.).
Articles on similar subjects:
- The First Italian Truffle Museum Opens in San Giovanni d'Asso – November 17, 2004
- The Chef's Corner: Truffles, Mushrooms and Chestnuts – November 1, 2004
- 21st Regional Fair of the Quality Black Truffle – February 9, 2004
- 38th National Festival of the Truffle from Acqualagna – October 22, 2003
- Inside the Palace of King Truffle (Nel Palazzo del Re Tartufo) – September 23, 2003