Château de Beynac overlooking the Dordogne Valley, France
© Gareth Kirkland/Alam
Truffle hunting in the Dordogne
Perched high above France’s Dordogne River, the Château de Beynac is one of the best-preserved castles of the Périgord Noir region. This 12th-century fortress has been meticulously restored and its dungeon, 13th century toilets and magnificent views of the Valley of the Five Chateaux bring in the tourists.
The region is famous for its castles, medieval villages, and its, erm, fungus. At least, the fungus considered by some to represent the crème of French cuisine: the truffle. Every year, from December to early March, truffle hunters and their truffle-hunting dogs (and sometimes pigs) take to the forests to sniff out these aromatic delicacies, which are then sold in village markets and restaurants. Come to the markets in January and you may rub shoulders with famous chefs from around the world, here on a hunt for their own perfect ‘black diamonds’.