In a rare coup for Greek truffle hunters, the recent discovery of an unusually large rare white truffle in the mountains of northern Greece is cause for celebration. Prized by connoisseurs as a gourmet delicacy, large white truffles command high prices at auction. The Meteora Natural History and Mushroom Museum, whose truffle hunter found the particular specimen, hopes to raise enough to support a charitable cause of its choosing.
“Finding a white truffle of 510 grams fills us with joy and pride for two reasons,” the head of the museum Nikos Pallas told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA). One reason, he said, was that it served as yet another proof of the richness of Greece’s natural wealth. The second reason was that the find was made by the museum’s own associate Christos Plesiotis and his specially-trained truffle dog Brio, two experts in the secrets of truffle-hunting who supplied the museum.
Weighing in at 510 grams, it is the largest Tuber magnatum or white truffle found in Greece in recent years and the second-largest found in Europe during this year. The largest, weighing 570 grams, was found in Italy a few days ago.
Plesiotis is a truffle hunter, chef and the owner of fine kennel for dogs trained to find the Lagotto Romagnolo truffle called “Il Monte del Bianco”. His recent find was a massive personal coup, given that most white truffles generally weigh in at 50-150 grams.
According to a museum announcement, “heavy-weight” white truffles are worth a lot of money and are usually bought by expensive gourmet restaurants or super-rich households, or else are sold at auctions for charities for astronomical sums, with one recorded sale reaching 330,000 dollars. Both Plesiotis and the museum hope their latest find will similarly help raise significant funds for a charitable cause.