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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bonjour tous!!

Fresh back from Provence, you had to be there..........

For a solid ten days, I enjoyed the beauty, deliciousness and exquisite charm of the French Riviera and the lovely countryside.  It was a dream come true.  This is just one of the many places I visited.

From the moment we arrived at Chez Xavier to spend our week in Provence with Mary James and Xavier, we dined on the most delicious truffle dishes -- literally morning, noon and night, that you can imagine.  Our hosts were most fastidious about the attention to detail.  We visited the Truffle Market in Aups, the only retail truffle market in the Provence area.
 We found fabulous truffles at expected prices.  There may be a slight decline in the tonnage but it wasn't obvious to us as newcomers.  What a great day!

The Truffle Festival, also in Aups, was on Sunday, middle of our week.  Again, a truffle extravaganza so much better than anticipated.  Music, truffle hunting competition, so many options for shopping for olive and truffle specialties.  I bought the best (yes, it's still flavored) black truffle oil I have ever tasted. Wish I could get it for you but, it's a small local supplier who only serves his neighborhood.

We enjoyed the festivities of the market, had lunch in the village and slept in the van on the way home while our driver handled the transportation.  :-)
Not really -- our hosts didn't give us time to do that.  If we hadn't done so much walking in towns and on farms, I would have gained a lot of weight!  We went from the festival to a truffle farm where we hunted truffles and met the farmers.  Their dogs were great and they told us they train them from the time they are born, rubbing the mother's teats with truffle to teach them to hunt from the beginning.  They even let their dogs eat the little bitty truffles they find in the orchards and still give them treats!!  What a novel idea!  Couldn't believe it!

The trip was a dream come true for this truffle farmer going into her 14th year.  I am truly looking forward to this year as the sole owner of Keep Your Fork Farm.  It's going to be the best one yet.

On a more local note, for the first time ever, the North American Truffle Growers' Association  is opening its annual truffle dinner to the public.  It's a great chance to meet the growers.  For $100 per person, you, too, can enjoy Truffles Galore on February 22 at the Hawthorne Inn & Conference Center in Winston-Salem.  Just contact me for registration before February 20 -- sooner if possible -- seating is limited.

It is snowing like crazy here -- probably 5-6 inches on the ground and ice predicted overnight.  Grateful for my faithful gas logs and wonderful dogs to keep me warm.  "Til next time...................

Think Truffles!


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