Carolyne Kauser-AbbottMarkets in Provence and Cote d'AzurTaste: Food & Drink

Where to find Truffle Markets in Provence

November marks the start of the black diamond season in Provence (and other parts of France). Proof that good looks are not everything the Tuber Melanosporum or black truffle looks a bit like a lump of coal that sells for 1-2000 Euros/kilogram.

Truffles in Provence #Truffles @PerfProvence

Intensely pungent the ‘diamond of the kitchen’ has been a recognized as an exclusive gourmet cooking ingredient since the 18th century in France. Although, French production of the Périgord truffle has declined in the last century it remains the global leader at approximately 45% of total production. Within France, the southeast (Provence, Dauphine and Languedoc) make up 80% of that total.

Truffles in Provence #Truffles @PerfProvence

As a note, the so called Burgundy truffle (Tuber Uncinatum) is not considered as high quality or strong in flavour. In summer months, it is becoming more common to market stands selling truffles. However, these are paler and less intense than their winter counterparts.

Truffles in Provence #Truffles @PerfProvence

All truffles grow underground close to the roots of a ‘host’ tree.  Practically intertwined, in ecological harmony where the fungus benefits from the tree’s root system for its supply of carbohydrates and the tree enjoys a larger root base from which it absorbs minerals and water. Truffle hunters need the help of four-legged friends with a keen sense of smell to find the bounty. You can read more about truffle dogs in France here.

Truffles in Provence #Truffles #MesseDesTruffes @PerfProvence

The third Sunday in January might mean frosty temperatures. Numb feet are a minor bit of suffering that pales when compared to the winter life of a truffle farmers (rabissers) who must visit their trees daily (sometimes several times) regardless of weather conditions. It can be cold, lonely and at times dangerous work.

Yes, there are poachers!

Truffles in Provence #Truffles #MesseDesTruffes @PerfProvence

This auspicious January day is a chance for these farmers to celebrate at the Fete de Saint Antoine or Messe des Truffes (Truffle Mass) in Richerenches in the Vaucluse. The festival has been running for over 20 years, it includes a blessing of truffles in a church ceremony and then a public auction of the truffles offered to the church by the rabissers during communion. You can read the more about this celebration and the truffle auction here.

Market Day #Cotignac #Truffles @PerfProvence

Now for the good stuff!

The list of seasonal (November-March) truffle markets in Provence:

Monday

  • Chamaret

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Valréas

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Alternatively, book a truffle hunting experience with Les Pastras – you can read their story about unearthing truffles here.

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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