Everything you need to know about Périgord truffles

Everything you need t ...

A true black diamond, the Périgord black truffle is a noble and rare product . Collected in the southwest of France, it is one of the region's emblematic products. Whether you are a truffle lover or a visitor looking for local ingredients, taste the Périgord black truffle which goes perfectly with your recipes. Discover everything there is to know about the Périgord black truffle and appreciate its unique flavors .

Périgord truffle

The cultivation of Périgord black truffles

The black truffle is a product of the earth from the family of hypogeous mushrooms which grow underground, but also from the family of mycorrhizal fungi, since it lives in symbiosis with its host. At the foot of vines, hazelnut trees or truffle oaks, the truffle bush flourishes on limestone soils rich in calcium , shallow, with sufficient heat for its development. This is the case of the Dordogne which brings together many passionate truffle growers who demonstrate patience to collect the best truffle in the region.

Périgord truffle oak
Périgord truffle digging tool

Cavagement, an essential step in the truffle cycle

Cavageing is simply the act of collecting the truffle once it has reached maturity. To find out, there is nothing like experience and patience since a truffle picked immature has no particular scent and is therefore not consumed. The harvest season may vary depending on the category of truffle. Regarding Tuber Melanosporum, considered the best, digging takes place from the end of November to the beginning of March. But be careful, before picking it up, you have to find it, that's the difficulty since nothing is guaranteed when you go truffle hunting. To increase their chances, truffle growers use animals with a developed sense of smell, such as dogs or pigs who are fond of this particular mushroom. It is then a matter of carefully extracting the fruit from the earth's roots so as not to damage it. This delicate work requires patience and respect for nature so that the soil can once again accommodate truffles.

truffle dog
Périgord truffle
Périgord truffle harvest

Truffle tasting

Before consuming truffles, you must know how to recognize a quality product. The smell and color are the main criteria to observe to ensure you taste a good truffle. Its firmness is also important since a truffle has a very short expiration date before oxidizing. This is why it is recommended to obtain supplies from markets directly from the producer, or from short-circuit stores . Is it ripe and fragrant? All you have to do is cook it. Raw, cooked or grated, it perfectly complements many recipes, whether simple or elaborate. Use your imagination to combine flavors. A little tip is to capture its flavors in a fatty substance like butter, cream or oil to enhance your dish. If cooking isn't your strong point, you can also make reservations at a local restaurant during truffle season.

Périgord truffle soup
grated truffle on dough
Périgord truffle shavings

Périgord, the truffle region

Périgord is famous for this black diamond collected underground since its lands are suitable for truffle farming. If Sarlat is known for its truffle festival and its truffle market open all winter, it is not the only city which reveals this delicious nugget. Sorges in particular is designated the capital of truffles, 30 minutes north of Périgueux. The unique cradle of this precious tuber saw the development of truffle farming at the beginning of the 19th century, a culture now extended to other areas thanks to the combination of geological and climatic conditions. An art gallery and an eco-museum are dedicated to truffles, making Sorges the cultural center of Périgord truffles.

scent of truffle
white truffle

Truffle markets and prices

From December to March for some, the truffle markets are events not to be missed . Bring a few tickets to buy this rare and precious product , with a price that fluctuates between €1,100 and €1,500 per kilo depending on the categories :

  • The tuber Melanosporum category 1, considered the best truffle in Périgord , has an odor of undergrowth and a finely peppery taste,
  • Tuber brumale , category 2, flakes more easily with a much more peppery taste,
  • Tuber aestivum is harvested from September to May and gives off a slight odor,
  • Tuber uncinatum, which is quite rare in the Dordogne, has a more pronounced taste and smell.

presentation of the Périgord truffle
price of Périgord truffle
price of Périgord truffles

Now that you know a little more about Périgord truffles, head to the markets :

  • Monday morning in Sainte-Alvère and Vergt,
  • Wednesday afternoon in Sarlat,
  • Thursday morning in Excideuil, Saint-Astier and Terrasson,
  • Friday morning in Brantôme and Ribérac,
  • Saturday morning in Périgueux, Sarlat and Bergerac,
  • Sunday morning in Sorges.

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This time, you have all the information to find your precious cooking truffle. Be curious and patient, the truffle is a rare product that knows how to be desired.

Take advantage of being at the market to discover all the specialties of Périgord gastronomy.

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