At 600 euros per kilo, the biggest black truffles at the annual truffle fair in Sarrión earn the respect of hungry onlookers. While tasting them is expensive, smelling them is free, and if you ask me, the best thing about truffles. The tiny town of Sarrión, in Teruel, Aragón, has been known for its truffles for decades, though mostly to the French, who, say locals, came here to buy truffles and pawn them off as expensive French ones from Périgord. Of course, that was in the days when truffles only grew wild. Nowadays, truffles are farmed by impregnating the roots of appropriate trees and then planting them in poor soil, where truffles do best. The price hasn’t gone down, but shhh, don’t tell anyone. The annual truffle fair in Sarrión exists thanks to the ladies who run Manjares de la Tierra, who together have reversed the fortunes of this humble pueblo. Hats off.
To walk in to a large building where dozens of producers are displaying hundreds of truffles is one of the most memorable olfactory experiences you can hope for. This year, the fair runs from December 5th to the 8th. Photo ©Mike Randolph