Truffles are edible fungi,that grow underground on or near the roots of trees and are valued as a delicacy.
The white truffle or Alba madonna comes from northern Italy and around the city of Alba. It is also found in Croatia. Growing symbiotically with oak, hazel, poplar and beech and fruiting in autumn, they can reach 12 cm diameter and 500 g, though are usually much smaller. The flesh is pale cream or brown with white marbling. Like the French black truffles, Italian white truffles are very highly esteemed The white truffle market in Alba is busiest in the months of October and November, where a 1.6-pound white truffle sold for $150,000 on Nov. 8, 2009 during the 79th White Truffle Festival. In 2001, the Tuber magnatum truffles sold for between $1,000 and $2,200 US per pound as of December 2009 they were being sold at 10,200€ per kilogram.
Giancarlo Zigante and his dog Diana found one of the largest truffles in the world near Buje, Croatia. The truffle weighed 1.31 kilograms (2 lb 14 oz) and has entered the Guinness Book of Records.
The record price paid for a single white truffle was set in December 2007, when Macau casino owner Stanley Ho paid US$330,000 for a specimen weighing 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb), discovered by Luciano Savini and his dog Rocco. One of the largest truffles found in decades, it was unearthed near Pisa and sold at an auction held simultaneously in Macau, Hong Kong and Florence.
The Tuber magnatum pico White truffle is found mostly in northern and central Italy, while the Tuber borchi, or Whitish truffle, is found in Tuscany, Romagna, the Marche and Molise. Neither of these is as aromatic as those from Piedmont.