By Penelope Walsh
Italtouch obtains record breaking black truffle, almost a kilo in weight, and believed to be the biggest to enter the Middle East
This morning at 9.30am, Dubai took delivery of what may just be the biggest truffle the GCC has ever seen.
Hot of the press, or rather the weighing scales, the black winter truffle weighs in at 930g. According to current market rates, that means the estimated wholesale value of this giant truffle is more than $4,000 (approximately AED15,000).
The truffle has been imported by locally-operated company Italtouch, which specialises in Italian products, particularly white and black truffles. The company's CEO and owner, Italian-national Massimo Vidoni, has developed a reputation among chefs in the MENA region as 'The Truffle Man'.
Vidoni believes the 930g black truffle is the biggest to have reached the entire Gulf region. In his own experience, the biggest truffle he has ever sold was a 1.3kg white truffle, which he obtained in New York in 1997. At the time, the story reached CNN.
Since then, he tells us, he has not come across a truffle of this size, white or black. Before today, the largest sold by Italtouch in the region, was a 549g white truffle, back in November 2012. It was sold to Dubai restaurant BiCE Mare, and reported on widely in the region.
Vidoni told HotelierMiddleEast.com: "In the last four years that I have been in Dubai, no one has bought a truffle of this size in the region. According to experts I have spoken to, I believe that there has not ever been such a large truffle imported to the GCC, even before the last four years. In Italy, if there is a truffle that is even half a kilo (this one is nearly a whole kilo) everyone knows about."
The 930g truffle that arrived in Dubai today, is black winter melanosporum, sourced from Carpentras in France. No buyer has been confirmed for the giant fungus. Although Vidoni revealed that he was in talks over the truffle with four different Dubai based restaurants, he was not prepared to confirm which F&B outlets had expressed an interest in buying.For all the latest gourmet news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.