Noble floret of French gastronomy,
the truffle ‘rabasse’ in Provençal, is the only luxury product sold in the state, leaving all covered with earth of the rich terroir of Provence, region which produces 80% of the French truffle, the France producing two thirds of the world truffle.
Only four varieties have a gastronomic value, the most noble species being the “black diamond” or tuber melanosporum. It exudes an exceptional haunting fragrance well known to connoisseurs. Formerly the peasants, respecting a distant tradition, used a pig, fond of truffles, which could spontaneously locate them … even if it was then necessary to prevent it from devouring them! Today, the dog is more commonly used, which must be erect but has the advantage of having a flair that allows him to feel the truffle several meters away and more than thirty centimeters deep. In sleuthing, he scrapes a little earth and leaves to his master, not to damage it with his claws, the care of the out with a hook.
“If you want to harvest truffles, plant acorns” is a saying by Joseph Talon, the first “trufficulteur” of Vaucluse, who had in 1810 the famous idea of planting acorns picked under the truffle oaks. It was thanks to him that truffle farming developed in the 19th century. Since then, intensive crops and the use of chemical fertilizers and other herbicides have broken the fragile ecological balance favorable to the development of the truffle. Nowadays, it is harvested, depending on the year … only between 10 and 30 tons. What is rare being expensive, a kilo is trading … from 100 to 1.000 euros, the prices climbing with the approach of the holidays, because of the increase of the demand … but also the quality of the truffles, which goes on increasing, the best are from January, when they are perfectly mature.
Recipe ideas: omelet with truffles (ten to twenty grams of truffles cut into slices per person, macerated with eggs, three or four hours before, cooked over high heat, served slobbery)
– Butter or truffle cream (truffle chips mixed with butter or cream) to decorate fresh pasta or fish fillets …
– Truffle oil, to season salads, potatoes or water mashed potatoes and roasted chicken … your guests will remember it for a long time.