Marche Aux Truffes

Usually reserved for end of year celebrations, the truffle (truffes) holds an all-conquering pride of place in the dedicated local markets. It also kicks off the grand markets for the new year as this festival runs from late December into February.

The truffle is symbolic of luxury and French gastronomy, this delicacy appears on the menus of all top chefs as soon as it comes into season. The dark jewel hides in the ground at the feet of truffle oak trees and comes into season between December and March, maturing just in time for the winter markets.
End of year celebrations present the perfect opportunity to serve them fresh at our tables following a trip to the truffle markets. Buying them in itself can occasionally involve a certain sense of ritual, whereby buyers are restrained behind a white rope and wait for the blast of a whistle before running and inhaling the scent of these precious mushrooms. While it may be said that we eat with our eyes, it that were totally true, the truffle might never have been tasted. However, one whiff of their exotic and earthy aroma is magical and with that first taste, I was hooked.

There were several bands moving about the event providing a wide variety of music and do not be surprised if folks break out dancing. After all, this is France.

There are many other artists and artisans displaying their wares and many opportunities to indulge in other local products.
In Moussoulens, the Aude capital of truffles, as well as a visit to the truffle market, you can enjoy an excursion to a truffle field or culinary demonstrations from top chefs – using truffle recipes, of course. If you are visiting Carcassonne it is a short drive away and if you like you can combine a visit to the festival to a visit at Montolieu, the village of books. They are a short distance apart. However, from Carcassonne as your base, you can afford to reserve an entire day for Montolieu.

Among dishes on offer were omelettes laced with truffle shavings, grilled duck breast with truffle on a crusty baguette, truffle soup, truffle risotto, truffle butter on baugette. Vendors with truffle infused oil, salt and other treats. Then if you have deep pockets, you can purchase a small sack of truffles. Truffles are carefully weighed and sold at prices that change according to the market. On the day I visited the market, you could purchase a kilo (2.2 pounds) for a mere 1,000 euros. Bon appétit!




13 thoughts on “Marche Aux Truffes

    1. While they are lovely, the similarity ends there. It is like comparing chalk and cheese as a British friend often says. 🙂

  1. Lea not sure why I did not get this post. I have often wondered what a truffle tastes like and it amazes me the amount people pay for this delicacy. I imagine they are like a fungi texture but I can’t imagine the flavour at all?

  2. They are earthy and if I could accurately describe their seductive deliciousness, I would have The Nobel Prize… which I do not.

    I’m having issues even getting emails out and opening things. It is my internet provider who doesn’t find it necessary to upgrade service to us small villagers…

  3. Wonderful post Léa, there truly is something so symbolic of luxury and French gastronomy with the truffle…my first time was having an omelette traced with truffle shavings and I could not believe (or describe) the flavor…it was something so perfect, so this post does it great justice 🙂 Wonderful to see such a tribute ~

    1. How kind of you! Yes, I was won over from the first taste. My first bite of Truffle was in a risotto and …. 😉

    1. Understood! I couldn’t part with that either. However, some buy and single small truffle and many just come and enjoy different foods laced with truffle and all the other things on offer. It is a delightful festival.

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