Cairo: A truffle piece, a desert edible fungus, recently fetched SR800 at an auction held at a Saudi souk, according to a social media video.
The footage shows an auctioneer holding the fungus as a group of customers bidding with prices that eventually reached SR800.
The sale came as the season of the truffle harvest is underway in Saudi Arabia. Collection of truffles is a favourite hobby for picnickers in Saudi Arabia. Hunters have to be attentive and careful while searching for the ripe fungus to ensure its pieces will not be ruined during harvesting.
Truffle hunting seasonally gets underway in January in rain-hit sites mainly in the Northern Borders and H’ail in north-western Saudi Arabia.
Seasonal truffles are usually in high demand in Saudi Arabia following rainfall and are nicknamed the “daughter of thunder” because they grow after heavy rains.
The fungus market traditionally experiences a brisk business in several regions in the kingdom, mainly in the Northern Borders. Prized as a desert fungus delicacy, several types of truffles are available at the Saudi market. Truffles retail for SR250 to SR600 per kilo, depending on the type and size.
In recent years, local festivals were held in several Saudi areas to promote the truffles with the aim of highlighting the link between the popular delicacy and the national heritage in the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to market its resources and diversify its oil-dependent economy under an ambitious development scheme known as Saudi Vision 2030.