October 20, 2011
The Cote d’Azur is world renowned for its enviable climate, healthy diet and luxurious lifestyle with people donning jewellery to die for, but less is known about the region’s ‘black gold’ or even ‘black diamonds’ as they have been referred as.
Across Provence many ‘Carpentras’ or more simply put ‘truffle markets’ take place as is the most important meeting place of the week for local gourmets. Referred to locally as ‘black gold’ or ‘black diamonds’, these precious nuggets are like gold dust – an essential ingredient in enhancing the Cote d’Azur’s legendary, influential and mouth-watering cuisine.
In the dark winter mornings on the Cote d’Azur, the markets are full of locals selling these ‘treasures’ to buyers donning designer purses pulled out from designer handbags, whom, despite their obvious wealth, want to purchase this scrumptious local delicacy for the best possible price.
All ‘deals’ are done in the secrecy of a trunk in the car, with buyers handling and weighing this black gold like it was gold itself.
Asides bartering the locals for the biggest, blackest and cheapest pieces of black gold and diamonds, visitors to the Cote d’Azur can try their hand at cooking with truffles.
The Cote d’Azur is one of the best and most celebrated gastronomic regions in Europe and prides itself on cuisine based on seasonal, unfussy ingredients, cooked simply and brimming with flavour.
Cote d’Azur cuisine enthusiasts can experience a gourmet break like no other at La Forestiere des Maures. Situated close to St Tropez, these ‘Picnic and Truffle Gourmet Break’s’ include wine tasting at the vineyards in the beautiful hills and secluded valley of the Massif des Maures, and a cookery class with Chez Bruno, known throughout France and beyond as the ‘King of the Truffle’.