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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

#795 Day Fourteen - Truffle Hunting

October 19, 2010, was another day with a unique surprise.  Our friends were sure we would be interested in learning about truffles. I had heard of them, but didn't know much. I knew they were a fungus with a unique flavor. I also knew that they were expensive. I've since learned that they can cost up to $1,000 per pound.

I also knew that pigs are used to root them out.  Other than that I didn't know much. I had never tasted them. I knew that the term truffles has been applied to a chocolate confection, but must confess to have never trying them either. At least not that I can remember.

The castle we visited is located between Beaune and Dijon. It contains the truffle shop/cafe. You can find it on google maps if you search for L'Or des Valois. You will note that the castle is located down a lengthy small road.  As you drive into the estate you will pass the tract of land that is the truffle "garden". There are only a couple of types of trees that will produce the best truffles. Tours of the castle and the truffle hunting are arranged by appointment. Our friends took care of that.

When we arrived we entered the truffle shop/cafe. We were met by the truffle "master" and his prized hunter-one small, dog. The dog is much preferred as a hunter of truffles. Pigs are more difficult to control.  Either animal will only discover the truffles that are ready for harvest. It is a labor intensive endeavor. It is also a labor of love, particularly for this truffle "master". The hunter must be very alert to the activity of the dog. Apparently people aren't the only ones who find truffles irresistible. A gardening fork is a necessary tool to dig out the truffle.

After we completed the truffle hunt we returned to the castle and met the owner. Our next step was a tour of Chateau d’Entre—Deux-Monts, another pleasant surprise.

Once the tour of the castle was completed we returned to the truffle shop/cafe where we were treated to a delightful tasting of truffles as they can be used.  The taste is one you acquire. It doesn't take long for that to happen. I must say that they have a rather strong flavor, but we certainly enjoyed the tasting. A very nice white wine was poured to accompany the "meal". We also had a taste of Cassis.

There is also a Facebook page you can visit.  However, the Facebook page is in French. As they say in France, bon apetit!


1 comment:

Sandee said...

I'll take the chocolate truffles from the candy shop myself. Interesting history though.

Have a terrific day. :)