Pay your order securely by credit card and Paypal
From 60€ of purchase, your delivery is free!
Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 05 31 60 02 11 (non-surcharged call)
Vacuum-packed truffles + ice pack
THE BLACK TRUFFLE IN HISTORY
A GASTRONOMIC JEWEL KNOWN SINCE ANTIQUITY
The discovery of the black truffle still remains mysterious. We only know that it was already highly prized in antiquity and commonly used in the cuisine of the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. It is assumed that it has been tasted since that time because it has been reported that in Egypt around 2600 BC, the Pharaoh Cheops used to serve this truffle to delegations who came to honor him. In the same way everything leads to believe that the "apples of love" that Leah the wife of Jacob disputes with Rachel in the writings of the Bible were quite simply truffles.
In the Middle Ages, this tuber was thought to be a work of the devil and was banned because of its alleged aphrodisiac properties. It only made its first real appearance in France in the 15th century at the table of François 1er who returned from his exile in Spain, then later on the tables of the High and Rich Society of the 18th century. From there, it decorates the most refined dishes making the happiness of the gourmets of yesterday until today.
Did you know ? A Périgord legend tells that one winter evening an elderly woman came knocking on the door of a woodcutter and his family to ask for asylum. After receiving board and lodging, the old woman transformed herself into a "fairy of Périgord" . This superb creature offered its host some seeds to thank him for his gesture and invited him to plant them at the foot of the trees in his garden. They would grow, she told him, in the form of mushrooms which would then make him very rich and so it was...
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BLACK PÉRIGORD TRUFFLE
The Tuber Melanosporum appears as a round, globular mass displaying warts and protuberances, with unequal shape and size for an average weight of 30 to 50 grams. Its slightly grainy relief surface is not smooth and has roughness reminiscent of the facets of a diamond, hence its nickname "Périgord diamond" . The Tuber Mélanosporum is a variety of black truffle which can sometimes, depending on the region where it is harvested, tend towards dark brown. The flesh is firm, brownish/greyish in color dotted with white veins.
WHERE DOES THE BLACK TRUFFLE GROW?
The Tuber Melanosporum, known as the Périgord black truffle , as its name suggests, grows in the South-West of France more precisely along the Dordogne valley but also in the South-East. In Europe, it is cultivated in Spain, Italy and in Eastern countries. Australia is also a major producing country.
In France, the production of the black truffle is in decline. Previously, the majority of truffle fields were wild. Men maintained the soil to guarantee quality land favoring the development of truffles.
Today, there are hardly any wild truffles left. These areas have been abandoned by the populations. The floors are therefore no longer maintained as much. In addition, knowledge about truffle production is less, it is very complicated to "cultivate" these tubers.
At the beginning of the 20th century, France produced an average of 1000 tons of black truffles per year. Today, production has dropped to an average of 30 tons.
Truffles are therefore rare on the markets of Lalbenque, Richerenches, Carpentras...
WHAT SOIL AND CLIMATES ARE SUITABLE FOR BLACK TRUFFLE GROWING?
This variety grows in the limestone soils it likes, between 1 and 15 cm deep at the foot of trees endemic to the South-West called "truffle trees", but also holm oaks and hazelnut trees. She lives in symbiosis with these trees which provide her with the sugars she needs. In return, truffles help tree roots better absorb minerals, water and nitrogen.
The Tuber Melanosporum begins to form from the end of April to the beginning of June and then develops throughout the summer because it particularly likes the rainstorms of August. According to Theophrastus a Greek philosopher (372-287 BC), this black mushroom was:
“A plant engendered by autumn rains accompanied by thunderclaps.”
It really reaches its full maturity when the first cold spells arrive and is then available for sale from November/December to March. This is the reason why this mushroom plays the stars on the festive tables of the end of the year. Nevertheless, purists agree that the best time to consume this variety of truffle is January and February.
Harvesting this mushroom that hides underground is special. We use the term " caver " which means to harvest the truffle. Its odor is not detectable by humans. It is for this reason that truffle growers use a dog, certain kinds of flies or more rarely a pig which easily locates truffles thanks to their trained sense of smell.
WHAT DOES THE BLACK TRUFFLE TASTE?
The black truffle is a complex cocktail of aromas with a particular flavor. The intense and particular scent of the Melanosporum truffle varies according to its maturity and quality. The intensity of its aroma is proportional to the quality. Finely peppery, its subtle smell is reminiscent of musk, undergrowth, earth and humus sublimated with a delicate aroma of roasted hazelnut. There are, however, noticeable differences in scent from one region to another, depending on the amount of rain that has fallen and the tree at the foot of which the truffle has grown. Tuber Mélanosporum is the species best known for its bewitching aroma and taste qualities.
TIPS FOR RECOGNIZING A QUALITY TUBER MELANOSPORUM
In order not to be mistaken, three criteria must be remembered when choosing a Tuber Melanosporum that is fresh , mature and imprinted with its terroir. Care should be taken:
- Its firmness : A very fresh product must remain firm between the fingers.
- Its veining : The mushroom must present a beautiful dark brown color with a slight white veining inside. When purchasing, it is important that the product be presented slightly nicked (knifed) to reveal its veining. The presence of veins proves that the truffle has not been frozen. Otherwise, it loses its water, becomes soft and the veins disappear.
- By its smell : Its scent must remain bewitching.
THE BLACK TRUFFLE IN GASTRONOMY
COOKING MÉLANOSPORUM: IN WHICH RECIPES SHOULD YOU USE IT?
What makes the value of Melanosporum is above all its seasonality and for this reason nothing is better than tasting it fresh in winter. The fresh truffle does not wash but gently brush to remove dirt. Taste it at room temperature, plain and cut into thin strips to better highlight and appreciate its aroma.
It is cooked during its full maturation phase that this truffle exhales the most aromas. Cooking it well means knowing how to trap the aroma in a fatty substance: cream, butter, oil, cheese, egg or bacon. There is no shortage of recipes incorporating truffles and ways to consume them. We will cite for example the most famous recipe which is the famous brouillade of truffles .
You can taste it at restaurants or make it yourself. With Périgord truffles, imagination and creativity are the key to a successful dish.
This variety of black truffle is cooked. This is not the case with the white truffle, which can only be eaten raw.
The aromas of Tuber Melanosporum are fragile. It does not support high temperatures. It is therefore recommended, when it is incorporated into a cooked preparation, to cook it at a very low temperature or to incorporate it at the end of cooking to avoid exposing it to high heat. Since it is a powerful flavor enhancer, this truffle is also used in sauce, in fumet to spice up many dishes. It goes wonderfully with potatoes, rice, eggs or pasta. You can also sprinkle small pieces on a salad, fresh or cooked foie gras, mashed potatoes or mix them with meat or a sauce, taking care not to overcook them, just barely cool them.
Another idea, put the truffle for 24 hours in a pot of fresh cream to accompany a soup or potatoes.
The proportions recommended to appreciate this product at its fair value without being disgusted by it, are 10 to 15 grams per person.
WHAT IS THE PRICE PER KILO OF TRUFFLES?
It is impossible to give the exact price of the black truffle. Indeed, even if it is around 1000 euros per kilo, it undergoes great variation each year. Depending on the harvest, temperature, soil quality and market prices, the price of Périgord black truffles is constantly changing.