Uzès Truffle Market
The third weekend of January Uzès has a truffle market at the Place aux Herbes in the center of the Medieval town. This central square is used to being packed with people for the weekly Saturday market, but on Truffle Weekend it's super-packed, and all truffles, truffle flavored foods, truffle tools and truffle events.
The vaulted arcade along the west side of the Place aux Herbes has two long lines of truffle-seller's stands, end to end, and the rest of the space is packed with people. People looking, people browsing, people smelling (truffles), and people buying. Ah, and some people taking pictures.
Most truffle stands had at least on presentation basket full of the black diamonds. The standard price this year (2016) was 90-100 euros per 100 g (or 1,000 € per kilo) for the top-of-the line Tuber melanosporum.
A large information booth in the main square had numerous panels explaining the intricacies of the truffle, and a staff to answer questions. There we learned a bit about the most popular types of truffle in this part of Provence, including the Tuber melanosporum, Tuber aestivum, Tuber brumale and Tuber uncinatum.
Many of the truffle sellers presented a selection of pre-weighed truffles, marked with a "unit" price so even novices would have an idea what they were getting into. At this stand [photo], the five white envelopes presented five different sized black diamond priced at 10, 17, 40, 52 and 113 euros.
The most common truffle tool sold by many of the stands is the Mandoline, a razor-sharp truffle slicer to help you shave off thin bits of truffle for your cuisine. Available in styles from the plain metal works to nice olive wood shaving boards.
Truffle flavored foods were readily available, from hot truffle omelets, made while you wait, to truffle cupcakes and truffle macarons. The Macarons d'Anthony shop of Uzès had a stand with a variety of sweet flavored macarons, and these "salty" macarons. We bought the ones with fresh goat cheese and with foie gras. Rich, and delicious.
A local mill, the Moulin d'Uzès offered a combination of 10 cl of AOC olive oil and 5 g of truffle.
One of the truffle events at the January 2016 Uzès Truffle Market was a demonstration of trained dogs sniffing out truffles hidden in this round sand pit with wee pseudo olive trees. The crowds around the edges were too thick for us to get a good look (other than raising the camera high and shooting blind), but it was popular and seemed like fun.