Eleven white truffles have gone under the hammer in Italy for $367,620, including a pair bought by an anonymous buyer in China who paid out $126,742, auctioneers said Monday.
A "famous Chinese writer" bidding by satellite telephone from Hong Kong fiercely outbid competitors for a 950g pair of truffles, organizers said, paying three times the price of gold for the white delicacy.
The auction, which took place Sunday in the Grinzane Cavour castle in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, also saw an unnamed buyer snap up a 305g specimen to be given as a gift to New York's new mayor, Italo-American Bill De Blasio.
"It is an exceptional result, another edition which has given us great satisfaction," Tomaso Zanoletti, head of the Piedmont region's wine body, Cavour Enoteca, said in a statement.
The sums raised at the 14th edition of the White Truffle of Alba auction will be given to the Piedmont Foundation for Cancer Research and go toward the purchase of a CAT scanner for the "San Lazzaro" hospital in Alba.
The funds raised by the Hong Kong sale will go to the Mother's Choice institute which cares for orphans and mothers in difficulty, the organizers said.