Tuesday, December 13, 2011

AT THE TRUFFLE MARKET

Jarnac. 10 minutes from Cognac, Courvoisier, the fourth largest Cognac producer has their head office in this town. A lively little place on the river Charente.

And in season, twice weekly until the end of February, there is a fine market for Truffles. We saw the advertising for it on our last visit and I wanted to check it out, see what the fuss about this "tuber melanosporum" is all about. The tourist office told us that the market, depending on attendance and quantity available, can be over in mere 45 minutes. Sounds like a sales gimmick to get you there? Not so. Todays market was over in 60 minutes.

There was a certain excitement in the air, people are being made line up outside an old palais and at sharp 9.30 the rush begins. By the time I was able to get some images shot, one guy already cleaned out a vendor and paid cash for his truffles. A lot of cash. A Chef maybe, or a broker? No idea. 

Prices for Truffles change weekly, today they ranged from 350.00 Euros/kg, all the way to 900.00/kg. The difference I was told is not in taste, but in size and appearance. Hard to understand, they are all ugly to the eye, some are rounder maybe? Or my French is not as good.

Anyway, Victoria kept egging me on to buy one, but somewhere in my blood line is some Scottish B
influence mixed in. I found the smallest one left in the whole market and let the vendor claw 14.00 Euros out of my hands. Took him a while, buyer's remorse kicked in instantly.

We grated some on scrambled eggs, laid by free range hens, which are massaged by hand daily. And groomed too.  Gotta have the right eggs for that kind of expense.

If only that lazy dog of ours could pick up that trade and make me happy......


Post script: 
 I have to say that the truffle shavings on my scrambled eggs did elevate the dish for sure.
The earthiness,musky smell of them made for a very good experience.
I never had truffles fresh before and learnt that most truffle oils are infused with artificial flavours instead of the real deal.
Will I rush back for buckets of them? No. Will I try to find a way to get a deal on Truffles? Yes.

It may be interesting to use them in a variety of dishes, but really, the cost is somewhat prohibitive. 







PASS THE COURVOISIER


TWICE A WEEK


RIGHT NEXT TO HINE COGNAC

SMALLER THAN EXPECTED

IT ONLY TOOK 60 MINUTES TO SELL OUT

HE BOUGHT THE MOST THAT I COULD SEE

DIFFERENT QUALITIES



OUR BOUNTY,LARGE ENOUGH FOR SCRAMBLED EGGS AND SOME TRUFFLE SALT

I COULD HAVE BOUGHT 84 FREE RANGE EGGS INSTEAD

LACK OF EQUIPMENT MADE ME SHAVE IT VERY VERY SMALL

WITH A SIDE OF GLUTEN FREE TOAST

HMMMM. OLD DOG, NEW TRICK? 

LAZY DOG. TIME TO GET TO WORK.

3 comments:

Ken Broadhurst said...

You didn't say whether the truffle on the eggs was good or not.

H.Peter said...

Yes, you are right Monsieur Ken.
Alright then. I have to say that the truffle shavings on my scrambled eggs did elevate the dish for sure.
The earthiness,musky smell of them made for a very good experience.

I never had truffles fresh before and learnt that most truffle oils are infused with artificial flavours instead of the real deal.

Will I rush back for buckets of them? No. Will I try to find a way to get a deal on Truffles? Yes.

It may be interesting to use them in a variety of dishes, but really, the cost is somewhat prohibitive.

Nadege said...

Truffles have to be experienced at least once. I am glad you did and for 14 Euros, you could even do this once a year.