From December to March, the truffle is in the spotlight in the Dordogne Valley where, every year, markets are dedicated to it. This is your chance to learn more about the so-called “black diamond” and to indulge your tastebuds with special recipes.
With the arrival of the cold, the first truffles appear on the market stalls in the Dordogne Valley. On the programme of these events are the sorting and sale of truffles, but also advice from top chefs and tastings. It’s the Périgord truffle fair in Cuzance that officially launches the season of this popular tuber, nicknamed “the black diamond”.
In 2018, the kick-off takes place on 8 December at the truffle house of Cuzance, with a market followed by a gourmet meal and a digging demonstration. The region’s most emblematic market is held in Lalbenque every Tuesday from 4 December to 12 March 2019.
Truffles and foie gras in Sarlat
In Sarlat, the truffle takes centre stage every Saturday morning from December to mid-March, with an award-winning market on which truffles put on sale are controlled. A big truffle festival is also held on 19 and 20 January 2019, with an entire weekend dedicated to the black diamond alongside foie gras, another iconic local product.
On 19 January, the town of Martel also celebrates the truffle with a market at its big hall. Here you can taste veloutés and truffled scrambled eggs.
Other fairs are also held in the Dordogne Valley throughout the season. In Gramat a traditional market is held on 31 December, while in Sarrazac the producers’ market on 13 January is followed by a truffle-themed meal.
The Périgord black truffle, or Tuber melanosporum, is a fungus that grows in limestone soils at the foot of truffle trees, such as oak or hazel, on hillsides and plateaus along the Dordogne Valley. It takes root between the end of April and the beginning of June, then takes advantage of the summer rains to grow, before maturing in November, just in time to grace the Christmas tables.