White truffle season has finally arrived in Singapore
ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

A long, hot and arid summer has left Italian truffle hunters and their trusted truffle-sniffing dogs disappointed.

Found in the northern region of Piedmont in Italy, in the countryside around the city of Alba, white truffles have not been this scarce since 2003, one of the worst seasons in recent memory, according to Alba-based white truffle supplier and export company, Tartufi Morra, a reputable supplier there.

What is worst is that the scarcity of these white tubers is propelling prices skywards.

These gems are costing chefs and restaurateurs about 50 per cent more than last year.

Depending on the size, white truffles currently start at about 4,000 euro a kg (S$6,300) for ones that weigh 6 to 12g. The price increases to well over 8,000 euro for larger specimens.

Gourmands here might be paying more for the sought-after delicacy this year, but are glad that the season, which is about a month late, has finally arrived.

Most restaurants here started serving it about two weeks ago, and are charging $12 to $20 a gram, up from last year’s base price of about $9 a gram.

Restaurants offering white truffle dishes include Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar in Purvis Street, Bonta Italian Restaurant & Bar in Mohamed Sultan Road, Otto Ristorante at The Red Dot Traffic Bulding in Maxwell Road, as well as at Sky On 57 at Marina Bay Sands. Dishes are priced from about $40 to $80 a serving.

This story was first published on November 3, 2012 on StraitsTimes.com. To read more:
http://sph.straitstimes.com/archive/saturday/breaking-news/lifestyle/story/white-truffle-season-has-finally-arrived-after-long-summer-20121103.