Carpentras, Capital of Black Truffle
T R UF F LE
What is to be known about Truffle
Market and Festival
Stays around the Truffle
Truffle and Gastronomy
Truffle,a specific vocabulary
What is to be known about the black Truffle in Mont Ventoux …
a Human History
Theophrastus is certainly the first real commentator on the truffle
ut the truffle, 4
Philosophers, gourmets and scientists of the antique times used to write abo
centuries before our era. “Daughter of thunderbolt, nature miracle, magnificent mystery”…All
the authors throughout the ages celebrated it
A few centuries later, Disco rides asserted that they were tuberous roots, and Plutarch put
forward the hypothesis that truffles were produced by the fusion of three elements: lightning,
combined with water and soil. The mysterious origin of these organisms drew Cicero’s
attention, who considered them later as God's children. The famous naturalist Pliny whose
opinion about mycology was respected until the end of the 18th century believed that truffles
were callosities of the soil and miracles of nature. Others considered that they were
organisms for the reproduction of insects or mineral products
Owing to its rarity and a high price, it has always been the guest of the meals of Princes,
Every century gave literature a text dedicated to the black diamond.
Truffle and scientific facts
One century before the mycosis is phenomenon was known, Joseph Talon, a farmer from
Groagnes, a small village in Vaucluse near Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt, grew rich by planting oaks
instead of traditional crops, such as vine and cereals. Finally, by the early 19th century, when
science was still unable to explain the nature of truffles, a farmer had set up their culture.
The story is quite simple:
He used acorns to reforest his fields. Several years later, he found truffles under the young
oaks. He rapidly linked his plantation of oaks with the production of truffles. And after some
testing period, he noted that this phenomenon was no coincidence.
The secret of the ingenious farmer was soon discovered, because of his wealth. One of his
cousins whose name was identical to the farmer's revealed the secret to the public. As a
consequence, other farmers began producing truffles by sowing acorns.
We should not forget this clever farmer who gave us the scientific explanation of the truffle's
As a result, the usual productions (grapes, fruit, cereals…) were replaced by oaks, which were
One of the most important characters in the truffle History is Auguste Rousseau:
This shopkeeper who aroused experts’ interest was awarded during the Paris Universal Exhibition in
1855 for his splendid specimens of truffles that drew the attention of the whole world.
What is to be noticed is that the truffles were produced on his lands of Puits du Plan (south of
Supported by a wide press campaign and by the administration, the reforestation by acorns of truffle
oaks was enthusiastically adopted. Talon’s method was summarized by A. Gasparin’s famous aphorism
“if you want truffles, sow acorns”: it was a successful simplification, sometimes source of unhappy
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a lot of public and private initiatives led to the reforestation of
hundreds of hectares. The production of truffles then knew its golden age. It reached 1,500 to 2,000 T.
a year for the official market. It spread over 70 countries, most of which had only produced small
quantities of truffles until then. What is amazing is that truffles had to be imported from Spain and Italy
about 20 or 30 years earlier.
Between the two World Wars, the production of truffles went through an important crisis due to the
move of populations toward towns, to find jobs.
The uncontrolled truffle crop led to a quick degradation of natural truffle production. Every year,
spontaneous production of truffles has decreased, whereas the demand in developed countries has
increased. That is why the culture of truffles has become a very interesting investment, the most
profitable one according to the legal point of view in agriculture.
Evolutions in microbiology and in forestry mycology widened the visual field of the culture of truffles
and increased the probabilities to get productive plants of truffles. Progress in physical and chemical
sterilization techniques have reduced cases of infection of the roots due to other mushrooms than
truffles. The discovery of the mycorhized phenomenon has permitted to understand the link between
truffles and some other plants. It has also made their symbiosis.
The study of the soil where truffles naturally grow has also made the ecological need of truffles
understandable and has avoided inappropriate reforestation in inadequate areas.
Black Truffle Production
The production in France
1958-1970: 90 tons
1970-1980: 50 tons
1980-1990: 27 tons
Production today :
20 / 30 tons: intermediate quantity sold yearly on the national market
70% of national production comes from the South East
(70% from Vaucluse).
1990-2000: 25 tons 30% comes from the South West, «Le Périgord» obtains 15% of the national
The Comtat Venaissin supplies the 2/3 of the production in Vaucluse
According to the survey carried out by Françoise Pontet of the development Department of the farming
chamber of Vaucluse
The truffle is an underground mushroom, belonging to the class of ascomycetes ( spores contained in
“asques”), the vegetative system of which is made up of thin filament whose size is about five
thousandths millimetres of diameter and very long. They weave inside the ground a thin network called
The truffle is the fruit of this mycelium.
To get fed, the mycelium forms an association with a host tree - called symbiosis -described by G.
CHEVALIER (INRA Clermond-Ferrand) and J. GRENTE (Bull in New series FNPT — September 80) as
- The symbiotic association is based on reciprocal profits.
- The tree receives mineral elements extracted from the soil by the mushroom, better than the roots
could do themselves. However it is to be noted that this process is not shown as far as the sturdiness of
the tree or its foliage are concerned.
- The mushroom uses the sugar and substances synthesised by the tree, without which it couldn’t live
in its natural environment.
As a result of this exchange, the vegetative development of the mycelium survives until it sets off its
functions of reproduction which will lead to the forming, then to the maturation of carpophores, that is
to say truffles.
MARKET AND FESTIVAL
Truffle Market in Carpentras
Every Friday morning, from the 21st of Novembe
Novemberr to end of March
This market takes place from November to March, every Friday morning, in front of the Tourist
November: It is now the season for truffle that we call “Rabasse”, a soft Provençal name for this
mushroom growing on the roots of oak trees.
Groups of people sell and buy the “Black Diamond”; it looks like a dance of little bags and money,
when producers and purchasers bargain.
What is unusual is the opening of each market: someone – a city hall employee – whistles in order to declare
the market officially opened for producers and professional buyers. Then, deals begin and last as long as there
are truffles to be exchanged.
Professional market: at 9:30 am ( Hôtel-Dieu)
Individual market: from 8:00 to 12:00 am ( in front of Tourist Office)
Contact: Service Foire et Marché of Carpentras
tel: +33(0)4 90 60 33 33
Christmas, the starting of truffle season
The 12th of December in Carpentras
Truffle Day in Carpentras
On the market place, in front of the tourist office.
Christmas time is an ideal period to celebrate the famous Ventoux Black Diamond.
With the presence of the “Disciples d'Escoffier” and other Provencal restaurants who enjoy fine food
and propose cooking classes and several demonstrations, stream of the truffle society...
It is time to taste truffles meals and to buy your Christmas presents!
Contact: tourist Office - +33(0)4 90 63 00 78
Summer time, market of the Tuber Aestivum (white truffle)
Every Friday morning in Carpentras (from May to september)
On the market place, in front of the tourist office.
Every Friday morning, a small individual market is settled in front of the Tourist Office from 9:00 to
12:00 am dedicated to the savouring white truffle.
Then, during summer time, you can discover truffle in the natural environment. A truffle hunter will
explain to you his work and give some advice.
Information to the tourist Office - +33 (0)4 90 63 00 78
November It’s time to look for the black truffle
To discover how the truffle grows Truffle seeker
La Truffe du Mont Ventoux
Contact : Eric JAUMARD La Quinsonne
84170 Monteux 04 90 66 82 21 fax 04 90 61 04 39
Jean François Tourrette et Florent Robert
Mr Jean-François TOURRETTE Grand’rue 84210 Venasque - Tel 06 18 11 32 03 /+33(0)4 90 66 03 71
Florent Robert - Quartier des Blayos - 84200 Gordes tel +33(0)4 90 72 11 60 / 06 18 11 32 03
2036 Petites routes de Carpentras, 84210 Pernes les fontaines Tél 06 10 73 27 24
[email protected] http://perso.club-internet.fr/joel-gravier/accueil.html
Ideas of stays around the Truffle
Hotel Le Comtadin ***–
***– Best Western, Carpentras
Take off to discover the tastes and fragrance of Provence....a charming hotel, a great restaurant and an
excellent sommelier as your guide: ideal conditions to explore the hidden treasures of Mont Ventoux.
Upon arrival, we give you the program, with lots of tips and information on local specialities, markets,
shops and visits
- 1 night in double room
- Buffet breakfast
- Truffle and wine dinner at the restaurant "Chez Serge"
- Visit of the truffle market
- Truffle lunch
- Transport not included
Winter truffle: 2 days – 1 night 145 €/ pers in double room + hunting truffle 25€ from 4 persons.
Summer truffle: 2 days – 1 night 125 €/ pers in double room
Hôtel Le ComtadinComtadin- Best Western 65 bd A.Durand 84200 Carpentras
+33(0)4 90 67 75 00
Safari Hotel ******- Carpentras
With 29 rooms, Its restaurant Hisbiscus sublimates the produce of the moment, with its both modern
and traditional cooking. Spa, hammer, massage table, relaxation.
Stay around Truffles – double room: 219€ including 1 night for 2 pers/ 2 breakfast and 2 truffle meals
(drinks not included) – from December to March.
Stay truffle in junior suite: 256€
Safari HôtelHôtel- 1060 avenue Jean Henri Fabre 84200 Carpentras +33(0)4 90 63 35 35 www.safarihotel.fr
Stay truffle on a truffle
truffle hunter bed and breakfast
Ferme Le Viguier in Monieux
Bed and Breakfast in a breeding farm in the Mont Ventoux area.
Stay around truffle : - 2 persons including 1 night in double room, breakfast, discovering and hunting
of truffle, truffle meal on place.
From December to March
Price : 200€
Contact : GAEC « Le Viguier » route de Méthamis 84390 Monieux
+33 (0)4 90 64 04 83/ +33 (0)4 90 64 15 52
www.leviguier.com [email protected]
La Truffe du Mont Ventoux in Monteux
Bed and Breakfast in a truffle farm.
Stay around truffle : - 2 persons including 1 night in double room, breakfast, truffle and wine snack,
disvovering day (hunting and tasting).
Price: 300€/ 2 persons
Contact : Eric JAUMARD La Quinsonne – 84170 Monteux
+33 (0)4 90 66 82 21
Museum: «Le Musée de la Truffe du Ventoux»
Exhibitions, Picture, articles, photographies and visits, all year round.
Musée de la Truffe du Ventoux Tél 04 90 64 16 67
[email protected] www.musee-delatruffeduventoux.com
Le Moustier 84390 Monieux
Open in autumn- winter from Wednesday to Sunday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Open in July and August from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00am to 12:30 and from 2:30pm
Tasting and hunting from 8 persons: 5€/person
TRUFFLE AND GASTRONOMY
Where to taste the black truffle during the season, from December to March
90 rue Cottier
Tél 04 90 63 2124
LA PETITE FONTAINE
pl du Cl Mouret
Tél 04 90 60 77 83
1060 ave J H Fabre
Tél 04 90 63 35 35
30 place de l’Horloge
Tél 04 90 60 75 00
PLACE A. BRIAND
Tel 04 90 63 30 13
Chemin de la Lègue
Tel 04 90 66 87 80
L’Auberge du Beaucet 29 rue Coste Claude
84210 Le Beaucet
Tel 04 90 66 10 82
84190 Beaumes de venise
228 route de Carpentras
Tel 04 90 12 80 00
route de vaison la Romaine
Tel 04 90 62 64 81
201 cours Louise Raymonde 84330 Le Barroux
Tel 04 90 62 36 94
Truffle cooking workshop
Michel Philibert Maître cuisinier de France, restaurant Le Gajuléa - Le Barroux
In January and February, one Thursday per month, Michel Philibert organises some cooking workshops
for 4 or 5 persons. Classes take place from 5pm to 6.30pm with a meal or aperitif.
Meals are elaborated around Provence products.
Cooking classes 200€ per person with meal and wine (on booking).
Restaurant le Gajuléa Cous Louise Raymond 84330 le Barroux tél +33(0)4 90 62 36 94
[email protected] www.gajulea.fr
Special evening around “Truffles and wines”
Restaurant chez Serge
During winter time (January to March), on Thursday evenings, Serge imagines for you a special evening
around «Truffles and Wines». Degustation (with the wine makers). First course, main course, cheese and
dessert - 87€ included wine.
90 rue cottier 84200 Carpentras Tél 04 90 63 21 24
TRUFFLE AND GASTRONOMY
Terra Ventoux WineryWinery- Cuvee «Terre de Truffes»
This cuvee comes from a selection of our best vineyards. Over 25
year-old wines. 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache. A rich wine with silky
and elegant tannins.
Perfect with red meat (beef ribs) and truffle-based dishes.
Truffles, wine and cheese tasting: come to the cellar to discover the
secrets of the black or the seasonal truffle in a relax atmosphere combined with a tasting of the
Products including black truffles
Dominique and Eric Jaumard are truffle producers and propose visitors to
discover how to look for the truffle in a natural environment.
They sell above all «Tuber melanosporum»
They also propose various products including truffle (oil, honey, terrine,)
«Conserves de truffes noires entières, brisures de truffes, jus de truffe, vinaigre de cidre arôme truffe
noire, miel d’acacia truffé, terrines truffées, huile d’olive et arôme truffe noire…»
Contact : La Truffe du Ventoux La Quinsonne 84170 Monteux 04 90 66 82 21 www.truffes-
Delicious cheese with truffles
Claudine Vigier, one of the best cheese maker in France, creates different cheese specialties around
truffle like “camembert forestier aux truffes et champignons, vacherin truffé…”
Contact: Fromagerie du Comtat – Claudine Vigier – 23 place Maurice Charretier 84200 Carpentras Tel
04 90 60 00 17 [email protected]
Nougat truffle is a new speciality from the Silvain brothers' shop in Saint Didier.
They make nougat (honey, olive, truffle...) according to the tradition and
Comptoir des douceurs – pl. de la poste – 84210 Saint Didier - +33 (0)4 90 66
* Association Ventoux Truffles et terroirs
Its purpose is to promote the black truffle in winter «tuber melanosporum» and the white truffle
«Tuber Aestivum» in summer as well as local products and wines. Ventoux Truffles et Terroir
participates to the truffle market, to the festival of the black truffle in February and to all the other
events related to gastronomy
Contact: Alexandre Dezordi Appellation AOC VENTOUX 04 90 63 36 50
* L’Amicale de la Truffe Passion de Carpentras
Some restaurants of Carpentras, all in love with the “Black diamond”, have joined together to develop
and promote the black Truffle in collaboration with the Brotherhood for the Mount Ventoux and Comtat
Venaissin Truffle. Contact : Charles Cazeaux 04 90 63 03 15
• ODG Ventoux Wines
Its purpose is to promote the AOC Ventoux wines by different ways. Organization of events.
388 allée J.Jaurès CS20212 84206 Carpentras Cedex
Truffle…A Specific Vocabulary
«Caver»: truffle hunting
«La gléba»: truffle flesh
«Musquée»: truffle whose taste is so strong that the truffle cannot be sold
«Mycélium»: part of the mushrooms
«Mycorhize» : association between a mushroom and the roots of a tree (oaks, hazels..)
«Péridum.»: truffle external surface
«Rabasse»: Provençal name of the truffle
«Rabassaïre» ou «rabassier»: truffle-hunter
«Symbiote»: The host tree which can receive mycorhizas on its roots.
«Tuber melanosporum«: Black diamond, also known as Truffle of Périgord
«Truffière»: places where truffles can be found
«Truffum rufum»: a grey-to- red colored truffle called «dog’s nose» with no cooking interest
«Les Truffes du Ventoux» une histoire millénaire de la Confrérie de la Truffe du Mont Ventoux et du
Comtat Venaissin- Editions A. Barthélémy- Avignon
«La perle noire du Comtat» de Pierre Julian, aux Editions du Nombre d’or
«La truffe culte et culture» de Christian Tortel, aux Editions Annine-Ediculture
«Guide pratique de la trufficulture» de Jean Pacioni, aux Editions de Vecchi
«Les vendredis de Carpentras» de Michèle de La Pradelle, aux Editions Fayard
«La serre aux truffes» de Pierre Sogno, aux Editions Calman-Lévy
«Des truffes en général et de la rabasse en particulier» de Jean-Marie Rocchia, aux Editions
«Monsieur le Maire, les truffes et le Parisien» de Jean-Marie Rocchia,aux Editions Barthélémy
«La truffe» par Michel Giraud (C.T.LF.L.)
«Bilan de la filière truffe en France» par Michel Courvoisier (C.T.I.F.L.)
«La route de la truffe en Vaucluse», édition 2001
«Le trufficulteur français», revue professionnelle
Web Sites dedicated to truffles
www.truffes.org : website of the«Amis de la Truffe et du Terroir Comtadin»
www.provenceguide.com : website of the department of the Vaucluse with some pages dedicated to the
www.ville-carpentras.fr : website of the city of Carpentras