Hong Kong billionaire Sir Gordon Wu has been revealed as the buyer of a huge US$160,787 (NT$5.2 million) white truffle believed to be the most valuable ever sold, sale sponsors said on Nov .15.
Wu, who heads the Hopewell Holdings property empire, and his wife Ivy bid anonymously for the giant 1.5kg fungus, sold at an annual truffle auction in Grizane, northern Italy.
It was flown to the southern Chinese city on Nov. 14 and will be prepared for a sumptuous banquet on Nov. 16 at Hong Kong's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which sponsored the Hong Kong bid.
Money raised at the auction will be donated to a Hong Kong charity for women facing pregnancy crises.
"It will be a great honor to prepare such a truffle," said Umberto Bombana, chef de cuisine at the hotel's Toscana restaurant, where the delicacy will be sliced and then included in a four-course meal for Wu and some 40 guests.
The truffle, looking like three potatoes stacked on top of each other, was put on show for the first time the afternoon of Nov 14.
It was the second year in a row that a buyer from Hong Kong had snapped up the top item at the annual Worldwide Alba White Truffle Auction held in northern Italy.
Last year a consortium of investors paid US$122,000 (NT$4 million) for a 1.2 kilogram fungus. The Guinness Book of Records later confirmed it as the most valuable truffle bought at auction.
"Getting to prepare the most valuable truffle two years in a row is like winning the World Cup," enthused Italian Bombana, who is aknowledged as a white truffle expert. (AFP)
1. truffle n.
松露 (song1 lu4)
例: Chinese truffles are flooding the market and pushing out some European producers.
2. sumptuous adj.
豪華的 (hao2 hua2 de5)
例: Thanskgiving dinner is always the most sumptuous meal of the year.
3. auction n.
拍賣 (pai1 mai4)
例: Yahoo has a great auction site! You can buy anything.
4. charity n.
慈善團體 (ci2 shan4 tuan2 ti3)
例: I know I want to donate to a charity this year, but I'm not sure which one!