Truffles – Black Diamonds
In Perigord you will find black truffles which often go by the name ‘black Perigord truffle’ after the region. The tuber grows at the base of oak and hazelnut trees. Truffles can be found in the late autumn and winter, as you drive the Perigord country roads in the winter you will see people ‘hunting’ truffles with their truffle dogs.
Every year for a few short weeks in December Sarlat holds its annual truffle market. The market takes place in a building quite close to the covered market and trades for only 3 hours each Saturday morning. The doors only promptly as the town hall clock strikes the ninth chime of 9 ‘o’clock and the crowds that have been gathering waiting patiently outside in the cold rush in to secure their prize.
Inside the truffle sellers are stationed behind long tables covered in cloth their truffle harvest displayed before them. The truffles range in size but most are about the size of a walnut.
Once inside the buyers carefully examine the different truffles, they are looking for the signs of a quality truffle, which are;
Weight: it should be heavy for it size.
Aroma: it should be highly aromatic, truffles deteriorate so no sent may mean the truffle is aged.
Firm: Truffles should be firm to touch with no soft spots.
Once the buyer has made a decision negation on price will take place and with a bit of luck the buyer will go home sporting a black diamond.
The market price of a black truffle as of 31 December for a black truffle was 1.2 euro per gram this of course changes due to a variety of circumstances.
During this month we will be posting a variety of truffle recipes so keep visiting the blog.