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Inspiring Life & Travel in France

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Inspiring Life & Travel in France

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Uzès Truffle Festival Star: Madame Cochan

Uzès Truffle Festival 2023 is here! Let’s take a look back …

Saturday night, I served a fancy pork terrine bought in the Loire Valley to friends in town for the Uzès’ Truffle Festival. That bite of pork could have been my last. I’m in love with pigs.

I’ve always had an attraction to pigs, namely Porky Pig, Piglet, Babe, and Miss Piggy. However, the attraction never kept me from having more than my share of pork barbecue, pork chops, ham, and bacon. Yesterday, though, I fell under the spell of a truffle-hunting pig. She was awesome.

Uzes Black Truffle Festival
Truffle hunting pig in Uzès
Uzes Black Truffle Festival
Snout down, finding a truffle

UzèsTruffle Festival Activities

Let me set the stage …

Sunday morning, under a bright sunny sky, there was a brisk Mistral wind blowing across the central plaza in Uzès, Place aux Herbes. Crowds of couples, families, and singles were scurrying towards the plaza’s center to join in on the Black Truffle Festival festivities.

Uzes Black Truffle Festival
Morning view of Place aux Herbes in preparation for the Truffle Festival

A huge tent and dozens of little food stands in the square, each filled with vendors with renditions of truffled delicacies. 

Merchants with truffle paraphernalia were set up to sell knives, bags, truffle shavers, and more.

Uzes Black Truffle Festival
Truffle gadget vendor in Uzès

There were even tiny tree starts implanted with truffles at their roots so you could take one home.

Uzes Black Truffle Hunt

A “truffle pen” filled with dirt and small trees was set up along one side of the plaza. It had been seeded with black truffles free to any man, woman, or child with a dog who could find them. 

Not one dog found a truffle, but one stole the show. Nancy McGee’s 2-pound Papillon, Jewel. 

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Jewel was the show stopper … until the truffle-hunting pig arrived. 

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

“Madame Cochon” rooted where others never dared to go.

She snorted and dug until every truffle was sorted out.

Uzes Black Truffle Festival
Finding a truffle

Indeed, Madame Cochon’s talent was due to the mutual admiration between her and her master. You might even call it Piggy Love. 

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Who could resist such a loveable pig?

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Even the piglets-in-waiting were envious. 

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Uzes Black Truffle Festival Auction

Meanwhile, back at center stage, a truffle auction was starting. Truffles blessed at an earlier church service were up for sale to the highest bidders to raise money for charity.

Uzes Black Truffle Festival
Blessed truffles for auction

Each truffle was carefully cleaned, weighed, and sold, starting at 1000 euros per kilo.

Uzes Black Truffle Festival
Truffle auction

All was supervised by the ever-present Compagnie Bachiques — a group of wine-loving men who show up at every wine event, dressed in the colors and golden coat of arms of the Duchy of Uzes. They must spread the word about wines from the region and to proclaim:

“VINO NON AQUA” 

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Uzes Black Truffle Sales

Throughout the day, curious and truffle-hungry guests mobbed vendors selling truffles by weight. 

Uzes Black Truffle Festival
Selling truffles by weight

Precious truffle oil, butter, and cheese sold fast.

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Those seeming to have the most fun were those who just showed up for the experience, the food, the company, and the wine.

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

What truffle delight did I buy? A little block of truffle butter, cheese with truffles, and a small jar of truffle pate that I’ll give away — it’s made with pork! 

Uzes Black Truffle Festival
Barefoot Blogger “Do I shop or take photos?”

Oh yes … and dare I forget? Nancy and I polished off a few Truffle macaroons with a nice pot of tea before she left for her drive back to Sete.

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Another fun day in the South of France!

Uzes Black Truffle Festival

Day trip from Uzes to the Cevennes

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