Packed into a relatively small area in Sarlat, we found two close ranked lines of men standing proudly to attention behind their prize of black truffles. The aroma was breathtaking; truffles have a distinctive smell of their own, earthly with a delicate touch of wild mushroom.
Truffle sellers who were being filmed for French television.
Prices ranged according to the quality and weight of the truffle, selling for eight hundred to one thousand euro per kilo.
Truffles are so expensive due to the fact that they are very difficult to find in the oak forests in Perigord Noir. Years ago a truffle hunter would use a trained pig to sniff out the truffle but they had a problem, pigs are partial to truffles so the truffler had to pick the truffles before the pig had eaten them! A few truffle hunters still do use pigs, and it’s quite a sight to spot a man taking his pig for a walk on its lead! But now, most use trained dogs who do not like the flavour of the truffles.
The many uses for truffles were on display including truffle oil, macaroons, pâté and even chocolate.
Truffles in chocolate or with added nuts and fruit, delicious.
You could buy your own oak tree sapling with instructions on how to encourage truffles to grow. The down side is that you would need to wait about one hundred years for the oak tree to grow sufficiently in size to accommodate the truffle.
Grow your own truffle tree
We opted to taste a truffle macaroon, it sounds terrible just like the truffle ice creme we had years ago in Italy, but like the ice cream, it was as delicious.
This is our truffle, we placed the truffle into a bowl with eggs to infuse in the fridge over night; the aroma permeated the egg shell, to make the most wonderful omelette.
Tiny but gorgeous