With the holiday season approaching the French start to think about acquiring the elusive truffle. We are in the heart of Black Diamond season and it is the perfect gourmet ingredient.
If you fancy cooking one yourself don’t miss the 21st annual Grand Marché des Truffes in Rognes on December 20th (www.truffesrognes.com). Several trufficulteurs (truffle hunters) will be on hand with a wide selection of different sized fresh truffles for you to purchase. Be sure to purchase a truffe brossée (brushed truffle) otherwise you will also be paying for any residual earth that’s attached to the mushroom. No point in paying for dirt. You can ask the trufficulteur to place the truffle on the digital scale so that you know the exact weight. For the most part the prices are aligned on these markets but have a walk around and ask the price per kilo if there is no sign. If you miss the Rognes fair you can also buy truffles every Saturday morning at the market in Apt from December through mid March.
Restaurant Bruno in Lorgues (approx. 1 hour from Aix en Provence) offers a unique menu based on truffles. This menu changes several times a week but the truffle, which Bruno himself describes as the epitome of gastronomy, is always at the heart of the culinary adventure. Have a look at the website which includes an interview with Bruno at www.restaurantbruno.com Telephone: 04 94 85 93 93
La Petite Maison de Cucuron also proposes a truffle menu. Be sure to check Eric Sapet’s website www.lapetitemaisondecucuron.fr and click on menu saison and menu maison to see exactly when truffles make it back to the menu. Telephone: 04 90 68 21 99
Le Prévoté in L’Isle sur Sorgue offer a Truffle menu from December through February both at lunch and in the evenings. It’s a lovely restaurant located in what used to be the lavoir (public wash basin) www.la-prevote.fr Telephone: 04 90 38 57 29
Le Prévot in Cavaillon is where Chef Jean-Jacques Prévôt, the king of melons (he has hundreds of recipes on how to prepare the famous melon de cavaillon) also offers a truffle menu. www.restaurant-prevot.com Telephone: 04 90 71 32 43
Christian Etienne whose restaurant is at the foot of the Palais des Papes in Avignon is also a lover of truffles. He has published a cookbook called “La Magie de la Truffe”. www.christian-etienne.fr You can view two of his recipes on his website: the traditional brouillade de truffes (scrambled egg with truffle) and galette de pommes de terre aux truffes (potato pancake with truffle). He is one of the rare chefs to offer all vegetable menus which may be of interest to our non meat eating readers. Telelphone: 04 90 86 16 50