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The black truffle wants to seduce, without getting lost
 | News Today

The black truffle wants to seduce, without getting lost
| Local Business News | News Today

With its heady scent and its color as dark as the mysteries that surround it, the black truffle is taking up more and more space in kitchens, attracting a wider audience, while maintaining its image as a top-of-the-range dish.

The “tuber melanosporum” seems to be gradually becoming more democratic, no longer being reserved for the tables of gourmet restaurants. However, there is no question of devaluing a product synonymous with “excellence” for the starred chef Thierry Marx.

“What you have to do is learn about truffles, teach the art of growing truffles and tasting them,” he told AFP. But if there must be a democratization, it is this, rather than trying to pull it down and have a massification. »

On the Lalbenque market, in the Lot, where the price of truffles varies from one week to the next according to the quantities, Alain Ambialet has noticed more and more individuals among the buyers, since the start of the pandemic and extended restaurant closures.

– Discreet negotiations –

“I think some discover, hesitate a little, but trust. We control what people bring” to guarantee an exceptional product, specifies Mr. Ambialet, president of the French Federation of truffle growing.

That Tuesday, 56 vendors in the surrounding area displayed truffles, the average price of which was around 600 euros per kilo.

Among them, a retired salesman smiles behind his mask. Its two 500-gram baskets, upholstered in red and white checkered fabric, found takers even before the whistle announcing the official start of negotiations. In a few minutes, the wads of banknotes pass from hand to hand.

Four days earlier, this almost septuagenarian did not hide his satisfaction while browsing his truffle field bleached by frost.

Her little black dog Réglisse, a lagotto crossed with a pinscher, ferreted under the Byzantium hazel trees and the downy oaks, planted in 2006. As if it were a game, she plunged her muzzle into the earth as soon as her sense of smell trained detected a truffle.

This Lotois, who devotes about fifteen hours a week to truffle growing, savors the bond with the dog, and “the surprise” that this very special “black gold” has in store.

“We can be very disappointed sometimes, but when we find it, we are happy. It’s a bit like looking for mushrooms”, slips this man. He prefers not to reveal his name because “the truffle, for some, is like a treasure, so it is better to remain discreet”.

As for consuming it, he advocates simplicity. “Truffled butter is very good,” he says, about the by-products that are multiplying.

– Quest for balance –

Florence Grimm, manager of a delicatessen in the heart of Toulouse, has some samples in her shop. She sees it as a good way of introducing this product to a younger clientele.

“They sometimes came to the truffle with a packet of flavored crisps, mustard, salt, and said to themselves: + Let’s go see how this truffle really is +”, specifies this trader installed since 2008.

In his Caussade red briquettes cannery, not far from Lalbenque, Jean-Luc Clamens shares this opinion by favoring “balance” for this product with a very pronounced taste.

“Aromas brought a lot of people to truffles. In the end, that’s not a bad thing since if we manage to get them to come to the truffle, they will always try to improve and gradually work towards a balance, “says the manager of Maison Gaillard, an institution deemed founded in 1906.

For Mr. Clamens, of which 60 to 70% of production is exported to Japan, the United States or the Gulf countries, this interest of the general public must translate into adequate use.

“The truffle is used a lot in the Italian way, grated on dishes. But the truffle is not that at all! It’s a great condiment that goes well with fatty substances,” he says, while sorting through his “black diamonds” with their unparalleled aroma.

The black truffle wants to seduce, without getting lost
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