Skip to main content

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.


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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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

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

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

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…

LE TAJ MAHAL, BEZIERS: RESTAURANT QUICK TAKE

Full Disclosure: I first heard the term 'The Raj' several years ago. The term did not appear in American history books. I never lived in any metro area with a significant Asian-Indian population. And I would guess that I was about 35 years old before I ate in an Indian restaurant.

So what the hell do I know? (If you prefer video to the written word, you can watch my review of Le Taj Mahal on my YouTube channel HERE.)

My sister-in-law now lives in the same village in the south of France that we do. For some reason not fully defined, she searched online for the best Indian restaurants in France. Le Taj Mahal in Beziers appeared on the list. We went because that's what we do, go to restaurants that look that they might serve good food. We're glad that we did.

First of all, the folks in the restaurant were very accommodating. We arrived at noon only to discover that they wouldn't be opening until 12:30. In recognition of the heat of the day, we were invited in, the a…

WINE TASTING FOR PLEBS

I don't know a darn thing about wine. So I warn you. Don't listen to a word that I say. Why? I'm an American, born in the Northeast USofA, not exactly a hotbed of boutique wine making even today when the folks in places like the Finger Lakes of upstate New York have been trying to establish their creds for generations. All that I knew of wine as I was growing up came from my experiences with my grandmother's concord grape wine. Oddly enough, straight out of the barrel in the basement it wasn't too sweet. If you liked sweet wine, though, Nana didn't mind. She'd just add a dab of maple syrup to the carafe and shake it a bit.

See what I mean? Don't listen to a word that I say.

Like many of my fellow English-speaking expats, I have come to enjoy sampling the great variety of wines available to us in here Occitanie. We live in the midst of a terroir that is transforming itself from a region known for sheer quantity to a region dotted  with an ever-increasin…