Truffle season begins in France despite hot summer and Covid

Markets of the prized tuber are now opening all over France as the season begins - with Covid-safe measures in place - amid high demand due to the summer drought

10 December 2020
By Hannah Thompson

The black truffle market season is set to begin officially this Saturday December 12, with markets permitted to open with health precautions in place, as black truffles arrive especially early this year.

The season officially starts this Saturday, and is set to end on March 7, 2021, although some markets have opened this year already.

Truffles have come through particularly early this year, due to high levels of humidity following the drought and heat over the summer. Output of the prized tuber is down due to the summer heat, with prices rising accordingly.

The department of Vaucluse produces almost two thirds of the harvest in France, with the two largest markets in the country those of Richerenches and Carpentras.

Carpentras is also one of the country's most famous and oldest markets.

Richerenches

Every Saturday morning during the season. Avenue de la Rabasse and Cours du Mistral. 08:00-13:00.

Carpentras

Every Friday morning during the season. Place Aristide Briand, 08:00-12:00.

Other key markets include those of Lalbenque, Cuzance and Martel in the Lot; and Sarlat in the Dordogne.

Truffle prices can be checked on the market network website le Réseau des Nouvelles des Marchés, here, sorted by location and type.

The most expensive price listed at the time of writing is €900 per kilo, at the Rungis market, for a tuber melanosporum truffle from France.

In Carpentras, however, the prices hover more around the €350-€400 per kilo mark, which is “still rather high for this time of year”, said market quotation manager Gilbert Chiron.

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