Wednesday, January 18, 2017

TRUFFLE MARKET IN PICS - JANUARY, 2017

First, the guy with The Nose checks out what the harvesters bring. They shake hands. They discuss. The aroma when one of the harvesters opened his container and presented his goods to The Nose, plus the fact that very little trimming of his harvested truffles was required, caused Cathey to choose him as our target.
Preparing for inspection...
Each and every truffle is inspected individually. The Nose slices off a small bit. The guy on the right assists.
The Nose takes a sniff.
Sniffing is serious stuff.


Our friend Nicola confirms with The Nose, it's all about the aroma. Little else matters.
Those that pass inspection are weighed and recorded to add to the report of the national harvest. Those that fail are put aside. There is no discussion. The Nose has the final word. Those that pass are put in a sealed sack to prevent hanky-panky.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the market you can buy a half dozen eggs sealed with a bit of truffle for 13.50 euros.
Or you can buy a jug of quite fine local whiskey for 50 euros. Other items for sale include little treelets that will grow into the type that harbor truffles, truffle infused butter and brie, saffron products, and an importer of beers - including Coors Light.
At the appointed hour, the scales come out and the sealed sacks are opened.
The crowd waits behind a rope line for one of the chevaliers to fire off a blank, the rope line drops, and we all rush to our chosen harvester to get the best ones on offer.
Our truffle, about two-thirds the size of a medium egg, cost 23 euros. In the States it would easily bring four times as much.
Cathey shaved it all. No saving it. Buy it and use it.
I prefer mine with eggs and a bit of Toulouse sausage.
Cathey prefers hers with simple, fresh pasta.
And so it goes in the community hall of the town of Villeneuve Minervois until the next market there in early February. We may choose to go. If not, see you next year.


4 comments:

  1. I think it will be time for me to make a purchase and then decide how I'd prefer to eat mine. I'd better get in training for the 'scrum' for when the rope goes down! Such a stressful business.

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    1. It's all in fun, though. At least for us it is. But to participate at the highest level, it's true that training is required! ;-D

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  2. What fun!! :) Thanks so much, for the wonderful description!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words. Stay tuned. We went back in February and I'll be posting a new set of pics soon.

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