Truffle season begins!

If it’s Friday, it must be France …

In France, for certain enthusiasts, the celebration this week will be all about musky-smelling, subterranean fungi … truffles.



On November 15, the historic walled town of Richerenches, will open its famous market for black truffles, the largest in France, with the proclamation of le Ban des Truffes. This official opening of the market by members of the Brotherhood of Black Diamond and Gastronomy, begins the truffle season which lasts until at least March. Foodies around the world rejoice!

Photo credit - Richerenches, Bureau de Tourisme

Photo credit – Richerenches, Bureau de Tourisme

Truffle sellers often work out of the back of their cars and vans around the corner from the regular market with sellers and buyers from restaurants and other agents, negotiating prices and making deals. If you know your truffles (often referred to as black diamonds), you are welcome to join in!

book-cover-small-1My friend, author and journalist Anne-Marie Simons, has an excellent chapter on the subject in her book Taking Root in Provence.

I wrote about Anne-Marie and her husband, Oscar, in a blog post a while ago. Great examples of being possibilitarians (my favourite word, as you know), wait until you read what Oscar does now! They retired to Aix-en-Provence in 1998 and began a fabulous new chapter in their lives. If you haven’t read Taking Root In Provence, I highly recommend it!

Click here for the link! It’s also available in paperback.

A while ago I was delighted to hear from the owners of Les Pastras.0_0_0_0_230_346_csupload_49165624

Johann and Lisa Pepin, are a Franco-American couple who left their corporate careers in Chicago to take over the Pepin family vineyard in the south of France in 2003. They wrote me about living their dream and I was instantly intrigued. Here’s a bit of information from their website and I think you will want to know more too At this time of year, truffle-hunting forays are the highlights.

Our 11 hectares produce grapes, olives, apricots, cherries, plums, apples, pears, pomegranates, figs, almonds, hazelnuts and black winter truffles. We offer truffle-hunting tours of the property when in season. Tours include a sampling of fresh truffle hors d’oeuvres, Champagne and a taste of our organic Les Pastras olive and truffle oil.

Fine food enthusiasts can adopt a tree at Les Pastras and receive a yearly shipment of olive oil or truffles. The perfect gift! Visitors can even choose their own tree during their truffle-hunting tour.

And for every tree adopted, Les Pastras buys a fruit tree for the One Family orphanage in Haiti.”


How cool is that? With the gift-giving holidays just around the corner, how about an olive tree for the person on your list who has everything? My late father-in-law gave us this as a gift a few years ago and it was so much fun to receive our delivery of oil, we kept adopting for several years!

There is an excellent article about Johann and Lisa in The Good Life France along with all their important links. Go on over there and read it, you’ll be glad you did!

How do you feel about truffles? Have you ever tasted them? Are you a fan? Would you adopt an olive tree or give one as a gift?

About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions ... okay, and chocolate ... and I'm seldom without a camera. I write women's fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!


  1. How can anything that looks so ugly taste so good?!

    • Patricia Sands says

      Haha! That’s what I thought too when I first saw them! Since I never eat fungi of any sort … but LOVE to photograph them … I have no idea why folks love them so much.

  2. Truffles weren’t so big in our patch of France. However, there was an enthusiastic group promoting the planting of certain oak saplings which had truffle spores (Naturally? Introduced? Not sure) around their root systems. So perhaps they’ll be big in the Ariège one day soon.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Well, Margaret, you will just have to return and investigate. No truffles around your new neighbourhood, right?

  3. Truffles are so wonderful with robust flavor! I have had black and white truffles – both in France and Italy – where they are also popular during the colder months. Years ago I was also very fortunate to have attended a white truffle auction in New York – where a gentleman at my table (who also owned a popular New York restaurant and raised his own black truffles in Italy) “won” the white truffle he was bidding for. We had a lovely toast with some wonderful Brunello wine in honor of his winning bid!

    • Patricia Sands says

      Did he share his prize with you and did you take a photo? I think I probably must taste a truffle at some point … I might just like it.

  4. anne-marie simons says

    Thanks, Patricia, for keeping my book TAKING ROOT IN PROVENCE “out there”. You are a true supporter. Anne-Marie

    • Patricia Sands says

      I am a true supporter, Anne-Marie! I love your book and talk about it whenever the opportunity presents itself!

  5. I like how you tie so many different facts to create a well- rounded post, Patricia. Truffles? I did eat them on a few rare occasions when I lived in France. They are quite expensive, so they are always used in very sparse quantities. They definitely flavor any dish. This couple’s experience is really cool and Anne-Marie’s book sounds wonderful too.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Thanks, Evelyne. I’ve always been quite amazed at the cost of truffles. Anne-Marie’s book is an excellent overview of life in France written with humour and intelligence. I refer to it often.

  6. Can’t say I’ve ever had truffles. My time in France wasn’t long enough, I suppose. Maybe next time.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Hey Totsy, come on a tour with me! I just don’t eat any kind of fungi … people keep telling me I’m really missing some delicious tastes. I have a bizillion photos of mushrooms and always stalk that stall at the markets . Visually I love them!

I love hearing from you ~ thanks for stopping by


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