The 2021 Truffle Market at Jacques Chibois’ Bastide Saint Antoine in Grasse and at Le Rouret, will celebrate 25 years of passion for Tuber Melanosporum, a Provencal mushroom with a bewitching perfume.
The Truffle Market at Jacques Chibois‘ Bastide Saint Antoine in Grasse will celebrate on Saturday 9th January 2021 the 25th anniversary of the Melanosporum truffle markets, a miracle of nature with a carnal and intoxicating perfume. These 25 years of Truffle Market reflect the enthusiasm of gourmets for this winter star of Gastronomy, Art of Living, terroir, culture and landscapes of Provence. The Truffle Market is to continue the following weekend, on Sunday 17th January, in the village of Le Rouret. These tasteful and colourful events launch the season of truffle markets in about ten towns in the Alpes Maritimes, markets where truffle lovers will now be guaranteed to buy “the good truffle”.
A Provençal market full of perfumes
Get to know this mysterious mushroom that grows under our feet, learn how it will sublimate your dishes, and why not, consider your own production as an amateur or as a farmer, are the many opportunities offered by the Truffle Markets. These Provençal markets also showcase the tasty local products with their appetizing scents. The Truffle Market of La Bastide Saint Antoine inaugurates the season of events dedicated to the Melanosporum Truffle in the Grasse region in a gourmet and convivial way. An adventure that has become a tradition at the initiative of Michel Santinelli, President of the Regional Federation of Truffle Growers of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur and Jacques Chibois, chef and owner of the Relais & Châteaux La Bastide Saint Antoine in Grasse.
Provence, the largest truffle-growing region in France
The Truffle Market serves today as the showcase of truffle growing in the Maritime Alps, a department whose truffle surfaces increase at the rate of some sixty hectares per year. Provence is the largest truffle-growing region in France, with 50% of the national production. Year after year, the 7,700 hectares (300 of which are in the Maritime Alps) produce some 2,000 kg of Melanosporum. A hundred or so truffle growers are working to develop the areas suitable for planting in the Maritime Alps. By the quality of its soil and its climate, this department offers a strong potential of development. The Department devotes 130 000 € per year to the revival of the truffle production by subsidizing the purchases of truffle plants.
The season of the Queen of Truffles is looking good.
The truffle growers and their truffle dogs are eager to start the season at the end of November. Due to global warming, the droughts in Provence slow down the sexuality and development of the Tuber Melanosporum, the Queen of Truffles. Faced with the lack of rain, 95% of the truffle fields are now irrigated to favour the harvest. Thanks to INRA studies, which have led – among other things – to the determination of the ideal soil hygrometry for the development of the truffle, truffle growers can better manage irrigation, all the more so as this year, an electronic box connected to probes around the truffle oaks allows them to precisely know the water potential of the soil and to water accordingly.
Guaranteeing “the right truffle”, the Melanosporum!
Consumers who buy on the retail market must be guaranteed to buy quality truffles. The price of the Melanosporum truffle depends both on its quality and its maturation, which is optimum in January and February, and therefore varies during the season. The French Federation of Truffle Growers has published a charter to label the events that respect a rigorous charter. At the slightest doubt, inspectors – about twenty in the Maritime Alps – equipped with a microscope linked to a screen, will be able to analyse the truffles to guarantee that the gourmets leave with “the good truffle”, the Melanosporum. In addition, the Federation stresses that truffle oils do not contain any natural flavours, but only synthetic, purely chemical aromas, which denature the gourmets’ palates. These products are therefore banned from the markets labelled by the French Federation of Truffle Growers.
Tribute to Wolinski
The poster of the 25th Truffle Market is a tribute to Georges Wolinski, one of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, assassinated on 7 January 2015 by Islamist barbarity. In 1961, the press cartoonist joined Cavanna, Reiser, Cabu and “Professor Choron” to form the team of Hara-Kiri, a “silly and wicked newspaper”, with a tone that is both cynical, naughty and provocative. In the 80s, he collaborated with L’Humanité, Libération, Le Nouvel Obs, Paris-Match, Le Point and always Hara-Kiri, which would become Charlie Hebdo. In 2003, after having “cavé” with the rabassiers of the department, he signs the poster of the 7th Truffle Market with a work exalting the sensuality of the mysterious mushroom. The Syndicat des Trufficulteurs des Truffes Noires des Alpes Maritimes (Union of Black Truffle Growers of the Maritime Alps) wanted to pay tribute to him by putting his tasty drawing back in the spotlight.
Gourmet and cultural winter tourism
A promise of gastronomic delights, the truffle opens up to the gastronomes of the general public, who learn how to cook this black diamond of Provence, knowing that 10 € is enough for a dish of senses delight. The landscapes that this mysterious mushroom models by its cultivation at the foot of the oaks and the high gastronomy that it inspires, constitute the themes of a true gourmet and cultural winter tourism. The 25th Truffle Market will thus continue during the week with gastronomic animations in the villages of the Grasse country and, throughout the winter, with Truffle Festivals in various towns of the French Riviera. The Syndicat des Trufficulteurs has taken steps towards the creation of an IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) label “Truffe de Provence”. Through the truffle, the Provençal terroir is therefore valued.
Objective Truffle 1000 more than tripled!
Jérôme Viaud, the dynamic Mayor of Grasse, recalled the Department’s agricultural policy, which aims to respect the great balance of nature and history by protecting Provence and its heritage. Jérôme Viaud said he was proud to have, as General Councillor, initiated in February 2009 a plan for truffle growing at the invitation of the Syndicate. Elaborated with the Syndicat, this plan was named Objectif Truffe 1000. The Mayor was delighted that this plan enabled 4500 truffle oaks to be planted thanks to subsidies (7.50 € per plant) from the Departmental Council, on the recommendation of the Truffle Growers’ Union. Another objective was achieved: the eradication of the sale of Chinese truffle oaks, to preserve the authenticity of the heritage and traditions of Provence. Jérôme Viaud concluded his speech by thanking “Maître Jacques” for the magic of his culinary art and Michel Santinelli for their devotion to truffles, which both makes gastronomy more attractive and helps to maintain the farmers’ standard of living.
Programme of the 9th January 2021 – Grasse – Bastide Saint Antoine
Truffle and regional agricultural products market. Demonstration of truffle dogs. Tasting workshop on the market square. All day long, on the stand of the Truffle Growers’ Union, information and advice on truffle growing.
Opening Truffle Market
9h30: Opening to the public and opening of the market. Sale of truffles and local agricultural products.
10h30, 11h30, 12h, 15h: demonstrations of truffle dogs.
12h: Tasting of truffle dishes on the market square.
12h15 : Aperitif of honour. Gastronomic meal by the starred chef Jacques Chibois.
17h00: Drawing of lots for the big competition organised during the day. To be won: a basket filled with all the products on the market with 250 g of tuber melanosporum truffle.
Relay parking at the Alambic roundabout, with free shuttles.
Truffle market in Le Rouret
The Truffle Market is to continue on 17 January 2021 in Le Rouret near Grasse with a large Provencal Market from 9am to 5pm. To discover the cultivation of truffles in situ, the Mayor of Le Rouret, Gérald Lombardo, invites the public to visit the experimental truffle field of the town from 9am to 12pm. All morning, shuttle buses will be available to the public from the Town Hall.
From 10h to 16h, demonstration of the work of truffle dogs with an introduction to truffle for the public’s dogs.
At 15h , a conference on the truffle and its culture will reveal the potentialities of production in the Maritime Alps.
At 17h, Chef Daniel Ettlinger, from Clos Saint Pierre, will demonstrate a truffle dish in front of the public. Every Friday, a truffle market will be held on the Place.
Gastronomic prelude to the Truffle Market
The presentation of the 25th Truffle Market at the Bastide Saint Antoine ended with a delicious meal where all the talent and creativity of Jacques Chibois and his Executive Chef Laurent Barberot were displayed.
25th Truffle Market
Bastide Saint Antoine on 9th January 2021 and 17th January at Le Rouret
Information: Grasse: +33 (0)4 93 36 66 66 66
Le Rouret: +33 (0)4 93 77 20 02
Reservations La Bastide Saint Antoine – Jacques Chibois
48, avenue Henri Dunant
+33 (0)4 93 70 94 94
The presentation of the Truffle Market 2021 in pictures
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