In Search of Black Gold in Southern France
February 20-17, 2014
Hunt, harvest and savor the Black Gold of Provence — A Terroir Tour timed for the peak of Truffle Season
Provence during Truffle Season is like Provence no other time of year. The pace is slower. Tourist season is still months away. Winter is on the way out and with Spring inching its way around the corner, there’s a wonderful expectant feeling in the air. Artisanal and native products abound, and there is plenty of time to experience the joys of the table in this region that takes its food very seriously. No where is the watchful waiting more intense than in Provence’s Truffle Country.
Join a small band of culinary adventurers in late February for a celebration of all things truffle! Be forewarned: You’re signing up for eight days of culinary porn of the most unrepentant, self-indulgent variety. You’ll yield to the taste, lore and mystery of the aristocratic black tuber. You’ll learn where it grows, how to find it, how to cook with it and you’ll experience how it can elevate even the simplest of meals with paroxysms of subtlety and flavor that leave you on the edge of your chair.
Seven nights, eight days. Our 2014 Truffle Immersion Tour is absolutely unique. It’s the only expedition of its kind offered in the U.S.
We’ll be exporing the Truffle Trail in Upper Provence, in the Département of Vaucluse, with stops in Tricastin, Grignan and the Enclave des Papes, which includes Avignon. We’ve engaged a local Rabassier (truffle guide) to initiate us into the secrets of the truffle hunt. The guide is key, but his dog is the star of the show as he darts among the oak trees and ferrets out the black gold. We get the truffles. The dog is rewarded with a chunk of sausage.
After the hunt, we’ll adjourn to the farmhouse kitchen for a truffle repast in front of a blazing fire. Other features of the tour include: A hands-on, how-to cooking lesson built around the truffle, followed by a shared meal; Visit to a small-town truffle market; A private tasting of Rhône and Tricastin wines; traditional Provencal bourgeois meal at a local farm (herberge ferme); All-day antiques shopping at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the largest antiques center outside of Paris; And a close-up look at Avignon, one of France’s most striking medieval jewels.
The truffle is proof that there is a God and that she loves us. Our truffle tour will make a believer of you.