At the moment, we’re in the middle of the black truffle season. That’s right, these black diamonds are not only cultivated in the Perigord, they also grow in the Languedoc. And I just looove truffles! So every year I try to visit one of the many truffle markets organised in the region during the season. One of the most famous markets is Le Week-end de la Truffe in Uzès. However, since 2017, Béziers also hosts a Fête de la Truffe.
When you go to La Fête de la Truffe in Béziers, or any other truffle market I suppose, I suggest you go early. I arrived rather late, around 11h00, and I could hardly park my car. Luckily, I got there just in time to hear Béziers’ hunting horns in Les Halles. Which was followed by an apéritif offered by the municipality, including local products flavoured with, of course, black truffles. It was hard to resist the lovely aromas, so I managed to grab a little bite as well. Mmm, too good… it awoke my truffle sense immediately.
Hogs and dogs
Besides buying and tasting truffles, you can also learn how to search for truffles. In the old days, truffle hogs hunted for the black diamonds. However, you had to be quick to get to the truffles before they gobbled them up. That’s why nowadays the “cavage” (truffle hunting in French) is done by specially trained dogs. The owner of a cute little four months old doggy explained to me that it takes years and years of training for a dog to become a true truffle dog.
Since black truffles don’t grow everywhere and are quite rare (not as rare as the white ones, but still), prices are high and can range up to 100 euros for 100 grams. This year the price was set for 90 euros per 100 grams, and all the producers sold their truffles for this price. On my way to Béziers, I listened to the local radio broadcaster France Bleu Hérault (perfect for my French). And they mentioned that almost all the truffles were already sold out. Luckily, there were still a few left by the time I got there, and I chose a beautiful 20 gram one to take home with me. I keep it in a jar with risotto rice, to give the rice a heavenly truffle flavour. I am already looking forward to savouring this feast later in the week!