The Truffle Market in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux

Once the truffle market has been organised, the truffle farmer gather before the opening to show their harvest to the three experts whom they designated at the start of the season.
The truffles gathered during the week are displayed, brushed, sorted according to their variety and then an incision is made with a knife to verify the quality, all in order to present the diversity of the produce. There is a listed price for truffles of each variety. They are then sold in food-suitable bags bearing the name of the association.
A charter of quality is offered to all establishment who wish to use the truffles in order to respect their geographic origin. It applies to all dishes, menus and other preparations made with the black truffle of the Tricastin.

Buying truffles at the market

At the truffle market - Sellers and buyers

Rates of the black truffles on the market of Carpentras

Basket of Truffles

Table of dishes with truffles

This market was once reserved only for professionals, with transactions being made between the truffle farmers and the dealers. Today, and in order to help the general public know more about the black diamond, the market is open to all lovers, from all regions, of this fabulous product.
The historic area of the truffle and truffle farms is incontestably the Tricastin. 60% of national production comes from there. The Tuber Mélanosporum has always fascinated and has a long and full history.
In the past, the black diamond was a widely consumed mushroom; today it is a rare and prestigious product. Its woody flavour and strong taste has lasted the centuries and the truffle can always be found in the same type of place: beneath an oak tree, in a chalky soil and in a Mediterranean-type climate. Botanists class the Truffle in the Thallophytes family; it is considered the fruit of a mushroom that takes the form of an uneven and globular tuber covered in either a smooth or rough sort of bark and of which the colour varies between white, grey, beige and black.
The Tricastin region is the centre of French production of the famous black truffle (60% of national production). This prestigious “black diamond”, once widely consumed,  has today become rare, a refined delicacy to be found on the best tables.  
The truffle's specific characteristics have made it something as mysterious as it is unique. In effect, nobody can fully explain its underground life, its uncommon black colour, the woodsy fragrance and strong taste.
Yet, this mushroom seems to have found in our region the particular conditions necessary to grow and develop naturally: a tree, preferably oak, a sufficiently chalky soil and, finally, a Mediterranean type climate.
But nothing should be taken for granted! Because the delicious Tuber Mélanosporum with its enchanting personality might not reappear there where the land and the people have generously provided it with everything it needs, disappearing and taking with it all its secrets. But when the truffle is with us... what joy!

The methods and vocabulary have not changed over the years.
The Rabassiers are always accompanied by their faithful canine companions, the two of them searching the truffle fields. It all depends on watching the dog's attitude, its sense of smell never fails and, snout to the ground, it will dig at the soil until the truffle is unearthed. The Rabassier hurries to get the truffle before the dog bites into it. In turn, the animal receives a reward in the form of another treat.

The Cavage of truffle is a method that has its difficulties because nothing indicates the presence of the black diamond in the soil. Only a dog, after training, is capable of doing this work. Its predecessor, the pig, was much less docile, active and gifted than the dog.

The Truffle can be divided into three categories:
Extra: for the truffles of superior quality, with a round and even shape, presenting no deterioration and weighing at least 20 grammes.
Category I: for truffles of good quality, but with some defects in the shape and colour, and weighing at least 10 grammes.
Category II: for the remaining truffles, as long as they weigh at least 5 grammes.

To visit

The House of the Truffle and the Tricastin
Rue de la République
26130 Saint Paul Trois Châteaux

Truffle Markets (from November to March)
Monday: Chamaret
Tuesday: Grignan, Saint Paul Trois Châteaux
Wednesday: Valréas ((84)
Friday: Dieulefit
Saturday: Richerenches (84)
Sunday: Saint Paul Trois Châteaux (reserved for private individuals)

Searching for truffles
To discover this marvellous mushroom, don't hesitate to go meet the truffle farmers and dig for truffles in the company!

Truffle Festival: the second Sunday in February – Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux
Cardoon and Truffle Market– Montbrizon sur Lez
Truffles, cardoons, chocolates, poultry, oysters and Coteaux du Tricastin wines
Truffles Menu and Entertainment

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