Truffles are a chef’s best friend!

Black Truffle of Perigord
Black Truffle of Perigord
It’s winter truffles time again – it actually started in late November – and many villages in the south west of France hold their weekly truffle markets.
Sarlat – the epicenter of the famous Perigord* black truffle called also the “black diamaond” – holds each Saturday morning during the winter months a truffle market and since 2006 dedicates on the 3rd weekend in January a special celebration – “Académie culinaire du foie gras et de la truffe” – to Dordogne’s culinary crown jewels: the foie gras and the truffle.
This event includes animations like: presentations of different recipes based on the two above ingredients ranging from celery soup with truffle crumbs to truffle Tiramisu to dark chocolate with foie gras and truffle, cooking demonstrations (entrance free), demonstration of “cavage” – dogs searching for truffles etc.
One of the most interesting parts of this year’s event was arguably the “Tout ce que vous avez toujours voulu savoir sur la truffe” conference, actually a “Truffle 101” short course.
One learnt that “black truffle” is the blanket name for a group of 6 different mushrooms that are listed below:

  • Perigord Truffle (Truffe du Perigord) – Tuber melanosporum – harvested in Perigord from november to february and that should be eaten raw or very little cooked. This is most spread and appreciated type.
  • Summer Truffles (Truffle d’été) – Tuber estivum. Harvested in Perigord from May to August is eaten exclusively raw. Its main characteristic is the white inside.
  • Mésentérique Truffles – Tuber mesentericum – is harvested in the Lorraine region in the east of France during the winter months. Eaten only cooked, this truffle is, due to its strong flavor, not as appreciated as the Perigord Truffle.
  • “Brumale” Truffle – Tuber brumale – is a variation of Tuber melanosporum and as such very appreciated. It is harvested in Perigord in the winter months and is eaten only cooked.
  • Bourgogne Truffles – Tuber uncinatum – are harvested in Bourgogne from mid- september to mid-january and are eaten raw.
  • The chinese truffles are a different variety “Tuber indicum” and of little interest to conaisseurs.

As said above with the exception of “Brumale” Truffle all of the other truffles are best eaten raw or lightly cooked. This in turn means that the canned truffles are – owing to
high temperature canning process – are less flavorful and to really enjoy a truffle it has to be consumed fresh.
The price this year for black truffles of Perigord – Tuber melanosporum – goes from €650 to €1000, depending mainly on the size.

*Perigord and Dordogne are the old and the current name for the department of Dordogne in the south west of France

 "Académie culinaire du foie gras et de la truffe" Sarlat
“Académie culinaire du foie gras et de la truffe” Sarlat
Dog searching for truffles
Dog searching for truffles (demonstration)
Truffle lollipops
Truffle lollipops
Dark chocolate with foie gras and truffle
Dark chocolate with foie gras and truffle
Celery soup with truffle
Celery soup with truffle
Sarlat Truffle Market
Sarlat Truffle Market
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