OF THE BLACK TRUFFLE OF THE PÉRIGORD
Now, the black Périgord truffle – or Tuber Mélanosporum in Latin – is the best-known truffle variety of the region. However, there are also two other varieties to discover. They are Tuber brumale, which is harvested in winter, and Tuber aestivum, the summer truffle, which is to be eaten fresh and raw.
To find these jewels of the Périgord, it’s best to know what to look for! The first clue is that the truffle oak bearing truffles (called brûlis in French) must not be surrounded by vegetation. To find truffles, truffle hunters are often accompanied by dogs who can detect the scent of a truffle at up to 30cm/11.8in of depth. The most unusual way of finding truffles is using… Flies! That’s right, a truffle fly will land and take off from the same place, and that is where the practised hand will dig!
While the art of truffle-hunting is full of well-guarded secrets, truffle farmers are willing to share their expertise and offer you a glimpse into this hidden world in the town of Sarlat.La Truffe 1 © Périgord ImagesLa Truffe 3La Truffe 4 © Périgord ImagesLa Truffe 3La Truffe 4 © Périgord Images
During the truffle season,
HEAD FOR THE SARLAT MARKET AND THE TRUFFLE FÊTE
The truffle season stretches from December to February, and that is when you’ll find them on the Sarlat market ! Along Rue de Fénelon, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to shop on Saturday mornings and to take home one of these emblematic local treasures. For professionals, the award-winning Sarlat market is the foremost bulk truffle market in the Aquitaine. A real reference !
As you head to the kitchen, keep in mind that a few slices are enough to fill a dish with flavour. If you’d like to preserve your truffle, experts recommend blending them with fresh eggs to protect them from exposure to the air.
Since Sarlat is a major destination for the black Périgord truffle, don’t miss the Truffle Fête and the Culinary Academy of Foie Gras and Truffles, which is held in mid-January.