A secret bidder has spent $8,000 on a rare white truffle and says they will donate the delicacy to the mayor-elect of New York Bill De Blasio. The truffle was purchased for just over $26 a gram at the charity White Truffle Auction of Alba, Italy.
The buyer, who came through on the phone, wished to remain anonymous but did reveal that the rare Alba white truffle, which is seen as the best variety of truffle in the world, was purchased as a gift for the new mayor.
During the event, another anonymous bidder from Hong Kong paid around $120,000 for a twin white truffle weighing 950 grams, valuing the fungus per gram at three times the price of gold.
Eleven truffles of varying sizes were up for auction, five sold in Italy and five sent to the 8 1/ 2 (Otto e Mezzo) restaurant in Hong Kong for an auction held with chef Umberto Bombana.
The final twin truffle, which consisted of two specimens that grew side-by-side, was auctioned via video link between both locations with a prominent Chinese writer placing the winning bid.
The total money raised from the sale of the truffles reached $367,167 with proceeds donated to The Piedmont Foundation for Cancer Research and the Mother's Choice Institute in Hong Kong which helps young mothers and orphans.