Archive | February, 2015

Truffles

1 Feb

They take truffles seriously in our part of France! Truffles are a type of mushroom which grow wild and are generally found (here) in the roots of oak trees. They are located by specially trained dogs, dug up and then stored until sold at truffle fairs.

Good quality truffles sell for €800 a kilo!

In Moussoulens, our next village, they hold a major truffle fair in January.

IMG_3044 An inspector from the Chamber of Agriculture is in attendance. He inspects the truffles, weighs them and seals them in hessian bags and records the weight. Not all truffles pass his inspection! He sniffs them and sometimes cuts into them with a small knife, rejecting those that don’t pass muster.

IMG_3036 When all have been inspected, the sellers then stand at tables with their hessian bags, a scale and a money box. A rope is used to keep the punters away.

IMG_3042 The inspector then goes to each table to inspect the seal on the bags; if satisfied, he cuts the cord and the truffles are then on display. After he has visited each table, he gives a signal, the rope is dropped and everyone scrambles to buy the best truffles!

IMG_3043 A local Michelin starred chef from Carcassonne gives a demonstration of cooking with truffles. Everyone watching in the hall gets a sample and a free glass of wine (naturally)!

IMG_3037 It was a lovely morning (although cold), great fun and it was a privilege to share what is obviously a long standing tradition with our French neighbours.