February 23, 2007

Road Trip- aux truffes

I rarely need to leave my beloved Gascony for gastronomic amusement. But when I whispered the word "truffe" during our Winter Gathering Weekend, Pim changed her train ticket and agreed to yet another adventure.

Just to north of the Garonne River Valley begins the vast limestone plateau and hills of the Quercy. This is the home to black-eyed lambs, fat walnuts, Cahors wine and those little herbacious goat cheese called cabécou. This is also the destination for those seekers of black diamonds- les truffes.

The little Clio goes fast. In an hour and half, after a speedy drive up the Autoroute from Montauban, we were spit out onto a country road surrounded by a scrubby truffle oak forest in it's winter brown cloak.

"This is it!"

We had arrived at this portal to Quercy where poor soil and rude climate conditions create the perfect terroir for tuber melanosporum-- the black diamond. Destination- Lalbenque and its famous Marché aux Truffes.

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