And on Boxing Day? – a truffle fair at Villeneuve-Minervois. Truffle fairs are held in various villages in the region at this time of year. This one at Villeneuve-Minervois was the first of three, spread over a couple of weeks.
There is a man who is provided by the local authorities to check each truffle before it is offered for sale. He slices a tiny piece off the truffle and smells it, to check its authenticity and aroma.
I wasn’t really sure what the order of the day would be, except that there would be a sale of the actual truffles at 11.00 am.
I certainly know now.
There was a rope separating the crowd from the sellers at their tables, and I managed to get a good place at the front and took a few photos and videos.
At 11.00 on the dot, I was all poised to get a video of the actual sale happening, when a gun went off very close with a hell of a bang, the rope dropped and the not-insubstantial crowd of people behind me surged forward to the tables, taking me with them!
So there I was, with people frantically trying to buy truffles, wedged up against the table!
I got a bit of video of the frantic action, and then squeezed back out to let the real buyers get their truffles. They were sold on the day for about €1200 / kilo.
Back in the car park, the Swiss couple that I was talking to earlier showed me their purchases. ‘Mission accomplished’, he said. They had three small truffles in a paper bag and he let me smell them. I’m guessing hundreds of Euros worth – I’m wondering if they came from Switzerland especially?