Truffles are considered the “black diamond” of Provence. Also known as "rabasses" in Provencal, they are a noble product that grow in rich terroirs. Provence alone produces 80% of all the truffles produced in France. They are found in the heart of this picturesque region between the mountains and the sea.
It was back in 1810 that the first “truffle farmer” had the brilliant idea of planting acorns that he had collected under truffle oaks. Nowadays, between 10 and 30 tonnes of black truffles are harvested every year. Although the harvest begins in November, it is not until January that the truffle reaches its ideal maturity.
With its round but imperfect shape, the black truffle gives off a captivating fragrance that is highly sought-after by anyone who appreciates fine culinary flavours. Priced at between 100 and 1,000 euros a kilo, truffles can be found not just in the top Michelin-starred restaurants but also in many family homes, cooked in omelettes, for example. There are a few precautions to take when preparing truffles. First of all, cook the truffles as little as possible so you do not impair the aroma, and take them out at least 12 hours before preparing them. Don’t add seasoning that is too strong, and use fat to release the truffle’s full flavour.
Don’t hesitate to try out a day discovering black truffles with a truffle farmer. This day out is devoted to digging up or harvesting truffles, with a meal in the form of a “snack” made – of course – from black truffles. All the secrets of the truffle will be revealed to you: how to choose them, clean and cook them.
The list of the best places to find black truffles includes the weekly winter market for black truffles in Aups, held from November to March every year. You should also enjoy the Truffes en Fête market in Grimaud on February 5 and 6, 2022.
You’ll have realised by now that the black truffle is a mysterious and unique product worthy of being discovered and savoured.