Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Truffles in the Perigord

Treasure of truffles
Slice thinly on scrambled eggs or pasta
Nini arriving with the farmer
Nini smells the first truffle

Nini finds the truffle
Nini starts digging for the truffle
.....and keeps on digging
Farmer weighing the truffles
Double checking the weight

Truffles, in France, are normally gathered in October or November. I have had the privilege of going truffle hunting several times due to the generosity of some very good friends who have truffles growing under the oak trees on their property.

A house guest of mine went and wrote the following:

Yesterday had a bit of fun in the afternoon drizzle with a mammoth sow, Nini. She led the truffle hunt vigorously and successfully, discovering over 3.5 kilos of the black gold, tuber melanosporum, 900 euros per kilo on the open market, you do the math! And in the season, they do this every ten to fifteen days, often with a higher yield. Nini does not eat the treasures, as she has been trained to step aside and take her reward of a handful of kernels of corn. She is pretty huge though, so she is getting her sustenance somewhere else. Enthusiastic is an understatement, I must say. I was gifted with a small nugget which is currently nestling with some eggs.

We started around some small trees, about three feet high, planted seven years ago, and only started producing three years ago, which is actually quite a good schedule. The roots were impregnated with the spores which of course helps with the production. However, much later we were in an open field where Nini sniffed out several not close to any trees-these are known as the "indigenous" truffles as they are actually attached to the long roots of the very tall and mature oak trees which were on the perimeter of the field.

I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures but having forgotten to bring a camera the pictures were taken with a telephone. I think you still can get the flavor of the hunt.

A great time was had by all.

Bon Apetit

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