Wednesday, November 20, 2013

T'is the Season of the "Black Diamond"

The season of the black truffle is officially opened.  This “black diamond” of the gastronomy world is a subterranean fungus (tuber melanosporum)  that grows at the foot of oak trees.  

The region of the Vaucluse in Provence produces the most truffles  in France (80%)  and the Friday market in Carpentras at the foot of Mont Ventoux is the center for trading this prized fungus. Restaurant chefs, brokers and wholesalers  from all corners of the world meet here to deal directly with the truffle hunters.    Trading is done in ushed tone, tubers are wrapped in small bags, they are weighted on hand-held scales,  and money is discreetly passed from buyers to sellers.

The going price this year is 150 euros per kilos.  No wonder, it is to be used  sparingly.  

On my recent visit in Provence I tasted black truffle at a luncheon at the Maison de la Truffe in Menerbes.   As an appetizer shavings were sprinkled on a tender green salad with chanterelles and for the main dish, finely chopped truffles were mixed with scrambled eggs.   The luncheon was delicious especially served with a white wine from the Luberon.  Truffles are also used to flavor olive oil.

Scrambled eggs with Truffles at the Maison de la Truffe

The truffle season runs from November to March.

Tag: Provence, black truffle, Carpentras market


Nathalie Delmotte said...

Thanks for this article about truffles.
I've noticed a couple of errors in your article: you state that vaucluse covers 80% of the production of truffles in France. It should read the south east produces 80% of truffles (this includes vaucluse, drome, Gard and Alpes de Haute-Provence ( Although Carpentras is one of the important truffle market, Richerenches situated further north is a major one too.
best wishes,

enchantedfrance said...

Thanks Nathalie .

I appreciate your input and stand corrected.

Nathalie Delmotte said...

You are welcome.

I live in the area so please let me know if I can help in any way.
Best wishes