Truffle time again!!

I’m sure you have eaten truffles – but did you eat chocolate truffles or black truffles? 🙂

The black truffle, also called Perigord truffle, French black truffle, or, to give the Latin name, tuber melanosporum, is a native European truffle, and it ranks very high on the list of the most expensive foods!

It’s been prized for its flavour since antiquity, and it was regularly served on the tables of princes, kings and emperors.  Towards the end of the 19th century, France produced up to 1000 tonnes of black truffles per year.  Prices were much lower then than they are now, and black truffles were used in great quantities in classic French cooking at that time.

Since the end of the 19th century, France’s truffle output has fallen dramatically – at times it has been as low as 20 tonnes a year!  A variety of causes have contributed to this fall in production: destruction during the 1st and 2nd world wars, deforestation, acid rain, general pollution, changes in farming methods, changes in climate…

For a very long time, the way truffles grew was not very well understood, but by the early 1970s a technique had been developed which allowed hazelnut and oak saplings to be inoculated with truffle spores.  The resulting trees could produce truffles four to eight years after planting, but the success still depends on many factors such as soil type, amount of rainfall, temperatures, etc.

Lucky for us, a good many of the truffle orchards which were planted in Southern France are now producing truffles.  If you visit Languedoc at this time of year, you are in for a treat, as truffle markets in the area take place throughout the winter months.  I’ve visited several of these markets over the years, and I have written about one of these visits here.

Below, I give you a list of the forthcoming markets in the area.  Even if you don’t buy any truffles, these markets are well worth visiting, I promise you!

January 26, 2020 : 21es “AmpĂ©lofolies du Cabardès” Ă  Moussoulens
January 26, 2020 : 4e FĂŞte de la Truffe” Ă  BĂ©ziers (pourtour des halles)
January 31 to February 2, 2020 : 14e “FĂŞte de la truffe et des produits du terroir” Ă  NĂ®mes, Place du MarchĂ©
February 1, 2020 : “Truffes en fĂŞte” Ă  Talairan
February 8, 2020 : MarchĂ© aux Truffes” et 15e “Nuit de la Truffe” Ă  Villeneuve-Minervois
February 9, 2020 : 25e JournĂ©e Paysanne” Ă  Saint-Jean de Buèges
February 14, 2020 : “MarchĂ© aux Truffes de la Saint Valentin” Ă  Narbonne, place de l’HĂ´tel de Ville de 9h Ă  13h.
February 16, 2020 : MarchĂ© aux truffes” Ă  Castelnaudary
February 16, 2020 : 12e FĂŞte de la Truffe et du terroir” Ă  Claret
February 23, 2020 : 4e Carnaval des saveurs et de la truffe” Ă  La Digne d’Aval
March 8, 2020 : “Truffe et patrimoine” Ă  Trassanel

 

7 thoughts on “Truffle time again!!

  1. A truffle is a good investment. One that’s about the size of a golf ball costs around 30€ and will flavor meals all week.
    The dinner at Villeneuve-Minervois is very good. Every course includes truffles, even dessert (usually chocolate-based, because truffles marry so well with chocolate).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like you, I found that truffles aren’t all that expensive! That said, I also learned that they can quickly lose their flavour. Reading up for this post, I learned that storage at near freezing (or freezing) preserves their flavour!
      Thanks for the tip about the Villeneuve-Minervois dinner – it sounds very good!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Plus the Villeneuve dinner is for a good cause. Proceeds go to research against cystic fibrosis (mucoviscidose). And the dinner is by a Michelin-starred chef. This time it’s Fabien De Bruyn of Le Bastion at Lagrasse. It’s an amazing bargain to get such a menu from such a chef for just 75€ per person–wine included.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like truffles of both types! We are also in a truffle-producing area, although yields have fallen in recent years for a number of reasons. Truffles don’t keep their flavour for long, in my experience. Three to five days at the outside. But they do bring an unmistakable taste when they are fresh.

    Liked by 1 person

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