The 89th edition of the International Fair of Alba White Truffle, an edition dedicated to innovation, was a great success.
Like every year, the city of Alba hosted the famous International Fair of Alba White Truffle, from October 5th to November 24th lured a large number of visitors for a quality experience to discover the Tuber magnatum Pico. This year’s edition was full of innovation, reflecting the project of renewal positioning wanted by the International White Truffle Fair Organization of Alba which aimed at raising the level of its offer to satisfy more and more demanding visitors coming from everywhere in the world. The eight weeks of Fair have also been, for the many tourists who have crowded Alba’s streets, the occasion for a trip to see the beauty of Piedmont, between ancient traditions and culinary excellence.
While waiting for the 90th edition of Alba’s International White Truffle Fair, which will open its doors on October 9th 2020, let’s explore this year’s numbers, events and news.
Trade fair attendance and tourism
The profile of the visitors that the hills of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato have hosted is high and well qualified both in cultural terms and in terms of spending capacity. Foreign tourists account for almost 70% and come mostly from Switzerland, Germany, the United States, France and the United Kingdom; followed by tourists from Brazil and Australia that have also increased in recent years. Those are haute cuisine and great wine lovers that find, thanks to this fair, high-quality response to their expectations. In the last decade, visits in the Piedmontese hills in October and November grew by almost 60%. In the period of the International White Truffle Fair the hotels that surround Alba, and in general all the structures of Southern Piedmont, are constantly sold out.
There were about 180 journalists who visited the World White Truffle Market, coming from all over Italy and from over 15 nations, from the closest European markets to the most remote ones such as Russia, Australia, Israel, China and the United States, accompanied by major newspapers as TF1 France, REN TV – Russian TV Channels, CNN and USA Today.
The appointments of the International White Truffle Fair
Over 100,000 admissions were registered at the World White Truffle Market in Alba. A qualified public, ever more mindful and demanding, who enjoyed the numerous experiences offered during the days of the Fair. The absolute protagonist of all the experiences was the Alba’s White Truffle. At the Alba Truffle Show, 41 guest chefs, including 26 Michelin-starred, have combined their creativity with the Alba White Truffle. Here the white truffle met with knowledge and flavours from other Italian regions; notably, the Tuscany Region with which they laid the foundations for a cooperation capable of enhancing the excellence of the respective food and wine productions, and the Valle d’Aosta, with which a Memorandum of Understanding was signed for the enhancement of Fontina DOP.
Foodies Moments‘ public has registered 73% of foreigners from 38 different countries. This event witnessed the internationality of this fair with the participation of the Chinese chef Yong Zhang founder of the XinRongJi group, which last year won the main lot at the World White Truffle Auction. All the immersive experiences were also much appreciated, such as the new Atelier of pasta that sold out. The Sensory Truffle Analysis, which was attended by 68% of foreigners from 30 different countries, and the Wine Tasting Experience®, with 62% of foreigners from 32 nations, were also very successful. The Olio Evo Tasting Experience was a novelty this year, made possible thanks to MIPAAF’s support and the collaboration of ISMEA and Gambero Rosso.
The XX edition of the Alba White Truffle World Auction
The best samples of Alba White Truffle, in combination with prestigious bottles of Barolo and Barbaresco, were sent to auction at this 20th edition, renewing the union between the highly prized mushroom and international solidarity. Each of the four squares of the Auction, Grinzane Cavour, Hong Kong, Moscow and Singapore, sold by auction the very expensive lots of truffles while the final lot was sold in direct competition. With a raise of 120 thousand euros, a Hong Kong entrepreneur won the final lot: a 1.5 kg sample. Even the chef Yong Zhang won a lot: a 470 g truffle, with an offer of 12 thousand euros. In the last two lots of the auction two “extra-large” Moscato panettone were also assigned, weighing 10 and 20 kg, signed by Albertengo, a historic company from Torre San Giorgio (Cuneo).
The total collection from the sale of all the lots was 287,500 euros that will be donated to charity at the New Hospital of Alba Bra Onlus foundation; at the Mother’s Choice Institute in Hong Kong which helps children without families and young mothers in difficulty; at the “Dmitry Rogachev National Medical Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology”, a cutting-edge research centre in Moscow, specializing in haematological, oncological and immunological diseases of childhood and in molecular diagnostics; and at the “World Food Future – Educate, Discern, Nourish” in Singapore, a reality promoting food education and consumer awareness.
Alba White Truffle World Market
This year the production of white truffle has had an inconstant trend while still maintaining the excellent quality to which this product owes its worldwide fame. Within the market, more than 600 kg of Alba White Truffle were checked and certified by the special “Quality Commission”. The price during the season has fluctuated between 250 and 380 euros without ever touching the peak of 400 euros per hectogram.