A rare white truffle, weighing in at about 2 pounds, sits on a scale next to the more normally sized versions of the fungi at Ferraro's Italian Restaurant on Nov. 12, 2013. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
A Las Vegas restaurant showcased its newest purchase Tuesday - a rare, white, 2-pound truffle reported to be worth at least $10,000.
Gino Ferraro, owner of Ferraro's Italian Restaurant on Paradise Road, said he jumped at the chance to own the scant fungal find, when he was contacted by a distributor.
"It's like finding a 25-pound lobster in the ocean," Ferraro said. Incidentally, Ferraro said he bought just that about 20 years ago.
The terrific truffle, which is the fruiting body of a subterranean fungus, was found near Sienna in the Tuscany region of Italy, by a hunter of such treasures, who worked with Chef Choice, a food distributor serving the Las Vegas area.
"When I got this call, I was here in Las Vegas talking with Ferraro," said Salvatore Cesareo, of Chef Choice. "He called his father who is co-owner, and ... they didn't think twice about getting this beauty."
Ferraro said he paid between $10,000 and $20,000 for the rare culinary catch.
Cesareo said there are only three or four white truffles of this size in any given season. He said this year, there were only two.
Now, what to do with such a Tuscan treasure. Typically, the shavings of a truffle are used in many dishes, Ferraro said, including his famed risotto with champagne. However, this time he'd like the fungus to do some good for a local charity, in the form of an auction.
"It's rare," Ferraro said. "So, it could be auctioned off for anyone interested in bidding for it."
Cesareo said the starting bid for such a rarity would be at least $10,000.
Ferraro said the largest white truffle ever recorded was 5 pounds and 5 ounces, and brought $330,000 at auction.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.