If it’s Friday, it must be France …
In France, for certain enthusiasts, the celebration this week will be all about musky-smelling, subterranean fungi … truffles.
On November 15, the historic walled town of Richerenches, will open its famous market for black truffles, the largest in France, with the proclamation of le Ban des Truffes. This official opening of the market by members of the Brotherhood of Black Diamond and Gastronomy, begins the truffle season which lasts until at least March. Foodies around the world rejoice!
Truffle sellers often work out of the back of their cars and vans around the corner from the regular market with sellers and buyers from restaurants and other agents, negotiating prices and making deals. If you know your truffles (often referred to as black diamonds), you are welcome to join in!
My friend, author and journalist Anne-Marie Simons, has an excellent chapter on the subject in her book Taking Root in Provence.
I wrote about Anne-Marie and her husband, Oscar, in a blog post a while ago. Great examples of being possibilitarians (my favourite word, as you know), wait until you read what Oscar does now! They retired to Aix-en-Provence in 1998 and began a fabulous new chapter in their lives. If you haven’t read Taking Root In Provence, I highly recommend it!
A while ago I was delighted to hear from the owners of Les Pastras.
Johann and Lisa Pepin, are a Franco-American couple who left their corporate careers in Chicago to take over the Pepin family vineyard in the south of France in 2003. They wrote me about living their dream and I was instantly intrigued. Here’s a bit of information from their website and I think you will want to know more too. At this time of year, truffle-hunting forays are the highlights.
“Our 11 hectares produce grapes, olives, apricots, cherries, plums, apples, pears, pomegranates, figs, almonds, hazelnuts and black winter truffles. We offer truffle-hunting tours of the property when in season. Tours include a sampling of fresh truffle hors d’oeuvres, Champagne and a taste of our organic Les Pastras olive and truffle oil.
Fine food enthusiasts can adopt a tree at Les Pastras and receive a yearly shipment of olive oil or truffles. The perfect gift! Visitors can even choose their own tree during their truffle-hunting tour.
And for every tree adopted, Les Pastras buys a fruit tree for the One Family orphanage in Haiti.”
How cool is that? With the gift-giving holidays just around the corner, how about an olive tree for the person on your list who has everything? My late father-in-law gave us this as a gift a few years ago and it was so much fun to receive our delivery of oil, we kept adopting for several years!
There is an excellent article about Johann and Lisa in The Good Life France along with all their important links. Go on over there and read it, you’ll be glad you did!
How do you feel about truffles? Have you ever tasted them? Are you a fan? Would you adopt an olive tree or give one as a gift?