We go truffle hunting with the Provence region’s best trufficulteur at the start of the season. We arrive at the door of the region’s largest trufficulteur, a business that started 3 generations ago. In the vastness of land (some 15 ha), the trufficulteur and his 2 dogs harvest the largest lot in the region. A truffle farmer recently murdered a burglar at his farm, we’re told. In a competitive industry, stories of dog poisoning to sabotage competing farmer’s work are also rampant. The trufficulteur tells us his grandfather started preparing the land for 10 years, before truffles can be harvested. Here, you’ll find a species of oak trees that are best for truffles to grow under.
It’s a little early in the Autumn season, so there aren’t too many big finds. But here’s a good start. The winter truffles are the highest valued crop, selling at Eur1000 per kg last year. The best time to harvest them is when the weather is very cold – Jan/ Feb onwards.
Here’s what we’ve heard from the locals – mafia-like truffle thieves have broken down walls and entire homes to steal fridge-full loads of truffles from farmers.