Be sure to go Les Halles, the covered market, in Avignon on Sunday February 21, 2010 to celebrate the truffle. Also referred to as the Black Diamond this rare gem will be prepared by 15 of the region's most talented chefs. You can attend one of the demonstrations from 10am - 3 pm. And if you feel like going home with a few of your own you can purchase from the merchants on hand. For more information have a look at www.festiv-halles.com
Don't be fooled by purchasing truffles which may have suffered from the severe cold this winter. Truffles that have been frozen are not as tasty and yet unscrupulous merchants have been known to sell them. To be certain that your truffle is intact ask the merchant to slice a sliver of the truffle. If the inside of the truffle is not marbled with white veins it has been frozen and no longer worth 800 euros a kilo.
None of the truffles in the photo above tolerated the cold month of January we had in Provence. They will be shipped to Virginia, crushed to a powder and added to the soil of oak trees in a local nursery in hopes that 10 years from now some Virginian truffles will be harvested.