Black Truffle Hunting Season Provence

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With summer well and truly over and the grapes picked from the vines, another exciting season is starting in Provence – the Truffle hunting season!

‘Black diamonds’ as they are called, or ‘rabasse’ in French, are waiting to be found during November to March. This is the best season to hunt for black truffle, all you need is a guide and a little bit of luck!

Black Truffle Hunting Season, Provence, France

A brief history of the black Truffle:


The ‘Tuber Melanosporum’, is an edible fungus growing under the ground close to the roots of host trees such as oak, poplar, willow and hazelnut. They live in a ‘symbiotic relationship’ with the tree meaning they need each other to survive and prosper. Black Truffle can be found mainly in France and Italy however cultivations have also started in Countries outside of Europe.

After five years the fungal filaments reach maturity and this is when the truffle is ready. Finding the ripe truffle is not that easy. Luckily there are special trained dogs who can locate them. There are many tour providers in the Provence area who can take you on a truffle hunt – something we’d definitely recommend. There are also numerous Truffle markets in the area selling these during the truffle season.

Markets worth a visit are:

Richerenches- Saturday mornings from 9am to 1pm on ‘Avenue de la Rabasse’ and ‘Cours du Mistral’
Carpentras- Friday mornings from 8am to 12pm in front of the tourist office

 Black Truffle Hunting Season, France


Due to their intense and earthy fragrance only small quantities are required to add a unique flavour to dishes. Whilst many restaurants in the area produce gourmet dishes using the truffle, you can also cook a delicious meal with black truffle at home.

One of our local cooks, Melissa Ridgeway, has shared her favourite black truffle recipe with us here, a perfect meal for the Autumn and Winter weather.


Celeriac soup with truffles:


Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 whole celeriac, cut into small cubes
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 100g Foie gras
  • 250ml crème fraiche
  • 1 small black truffle
  • 1 tsp white truffle oil

Start with cooking the onions and celeriac in butter, olive oil, salt and pepper over a low heat for 15 minutes until they are soft and melted with a slightly caramelized look.

Add the broth and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 20 minutes until celeriac is tender. Remove it from the heat and blitz with a hand blender.

Add the foie gras and crème fraiche and stir through gently to melt.

Taste for seasoning.

Tip for serving: Serve in fancy tea cups, with shaved black truffle slices on top and drizzle with white truffle oil.

Bon appetit!

 


Plan your Provence break at any of the Villas and make the most of the Black Truffle hunting season before it's over...



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