Silvia Marchetti

Silvia Marchetti

Silvia Marchetti is a Rome-based freelance reporter. She covers finance, economics, travel and culture for a wide range of international media. Silvia has a master degree in journalism and has lived a

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Rich Chinese diners can’t get enough of this musky ‘white gold’
Averaging €300 for 100 grams (about $1,350 per pound) – but with the largest specimens selling for substantially more – highly sought-after white truffles from Italy’s northern Piedmont region are commonly called “white gold.” The Chinese love affair with these musky-tasting truffles has given rise to a niche industry of cooks, businessmen and millionaires from Shanghai to Singapore. They have become the main buyers of the expensive delicacy and the major protagonists in the annual truffle drama – the yearly auction in the Piedmont town of Alba. “Each year in Alba we stage the white truffle global auction, and for the past 15 years it has been held simultaneously through streaming in Hong Ko
China is developing a huge appetite for cheese and butter
Something smells funny in China. Cheese and other dairy products are not part of the traditional Chinese diet, yet there has been a surge in dairy imports. According to European Commission data, the volume of Europe’s cheese exports to China in the first 11 months of this year was 24% higher than for the whole of 2018, amounting to more than 20,000 tons. Exports of European butter to the country have grown at an even greater pace this year – by 36%. Cheese has historically been alien to the diet in China, where research shows that a great many people are lactose intolerant. However, a 2018 report by China’s National Institute for Nutrition and Health found that Chinese citizens needed encour