Federico Balestra of Sabatino Truffles shows off the world's largest truffle, weighing in at 4.16 pounds, which will be offered at auction on 6 December.
NEW YORK – Last week the largest white truffle in the world was discovered in central Italy, weighing in at a massive 4.16 pounds (1.89 kilos), nearly twice the size of the previous record holder. The über tuber is being offered by the Balestra family of Sabatino Truffles at auction on Saturday 6 December at Sotheby’s New York and the family plans to donate proceeds to a number of chartable organizations, including Citymeals-on-Wheels and the Children’s Glaucoma Foundation.
In anticipation of the auction of the behemoth truffle, Michael Moore, Director of Events at Sotheby's asked his favorite chefs what they would do with the truffle. “I’m definitely not one of the people that thinks that bigger is better in all things,” says chef and restaurateur Mario Batali, “but in the case of a white truffle, bigger is better. The fact that a lot of the proceeds generated by this magnificent tuber will go to local charities including Citymeals-on-Wheels makes this something really big and something really cool. Go tartufo!!”
"The best way to enjoy white truffle is at its seasonal peak. Right now is the perfect time for white truffles, and also for scallops. We love the taste of a freshly shucked raw scallop, shaved white truffle, uni, borage, and a bit of candied lemon. The subtle, almost floral white truffle and combination of bright flavors enhance the fresh scallop and come together beautifully in this delicious dish."
-Liz Neumark, Great Performances
“I would share it. No one would be able to eat it all at once! I would make tagliatelle with butter, white truffle, and maybe a little bit of cheese. Yum!”
-April Bloomfield, Spotted Pig
Celebrated chef April Bloomfield of Spotted Pig. Photograph by Angela Pham/BFAnyc.com
“Before I would spend one full hour in complete silence and admire such an amazing beautiful creation of nature, then I would start cooking and allow my guests to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime treat. My ideal dish to cook with this white truffle would be Tagliatelle Cacio e Pepe, which consists of housemade tagliatelle, Sardinian pecorino cheese and cracked pepper, and would incorporate the white truffle in more ways than one. To begin, I would break a few pieces from the white truffle and sauté it with the sauce, which will satisfy the guests’ taste for the white truffle.
“Leaving the beauty of this white truffle in front of the guest is extremely important, so I would then serve this dish tableside and offer a mandolin to each guest so they can slice the truffle themselves. This will give the guest an opportunity to fill the sensation of this powerful truffle. It is important for the guest to not only enjoy the world’s largest white truffle, but to also have the opportunity to interact with it and really be able to take in the unique aroma of the truffle as the dish is being prepared.”
-Chef Nicola Valle, Sant Ambroeus Madison Avenue
The sale of the truffle will be immediately followed by Sotheby’s Wine auction, which features lots ranging from $200 to $60,000 including The Magnificent Cellar of Dr. Ed Planz and Verticals and Large Format Direct from Paul Jaboulet Aîné. Full details of the lots on offer and how to bid can be found at www.sothebys.com/wine.