Its no secret that Provence is very popular, bordering on too much so at the height of the summer season. The Centre National dInformation Routiere (CNIR) publishes an annual outlook of their predictions for the worst traffic days on the autoroutes in France. Not surprisingly THE worst days of the year generally fall during the summer holidays around July 14th, the first weekend in August and around the 15th of the month. When it feels like everyone is on the roads, at a crowded beach and vying for a parking spot at the grocery store, its hard to believe
in Santa that there are any secrets in Provence. Until a secret truffle hunt in the Luberon.
Inspiration for Truffle Hunt Pasta! This recipe for a Spaghetti with Eggs is easy to make. And, the ingredients do not overpower the flavour of the truffles.
- 1lb (.45 kg) Spaghetti
- 4oz (115 g) Butterat room temperature
- 3 Eggs
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 7oz (200 g) Parmesan gratednot shredded
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 5oz (140 g) Pancettadiced
- 1pinch Piment d'villeor Espelette
- 1cup (240ml) Cream
- to taste flaked sea salt
- to taste Ground Black Pepper
- 4oz (115 g) White Truffles*sliced thin
*Although this pasta recipe was made with white truffles from Alba, Italy it will work perfectly for both summer truffles and winter truffles.
More on Truffles in Provence + Recipes
Elusive Truffles Hunting for Black Gold in Provence. The dogs dart in and out of the trees, as the truffle hunter (caveur or rabassier) scans their movements watching to see where, and if, they start to dig. A single word, the command to stand down, the dog steps aside allowing his master to take over. Gently loosening the dirt, the farmer extracts what appeared to be a lump of coal, a black truffle the size of a toddlers fist.
January is black truffle season in Uzs and the annual Fte de la Truffe. Each year a mountain of sand arrives in the Place aux Herbes, planted here and there with oak and hazel branches to create la campagne(countryside) feel. Black truffles are hidden in this scene in the dark of the night (surveyed until daylight hours by security guards). Then, during the day, dog- and pig owners are invited to let their animals search for them. The scent of truffles pervades the town and all the Uzes restaurants will be serving truffled dishes.
It is more common to see summer truffles in the markets than in the past. However, this summer tuber may be related to the Black Diamond, but the taste is certainly not as distinctive. There is also a significant price differential between the summer and winter varieties. In peak months, the black truffle will command about 10 times the price (per kilo) compared to summer truffles. Discover the truffle markets in Provence.
The key to cooking with truffles is the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) theory. Make dishes that will not detract from the earthy flavour of the truffles. Here are a few of our favourites:
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