March 7, 2011

Truffle Dogs in France

Truffle Dogs in France

Jade is a lovely pure bread black Labrador; her full registered name is Ogden’s Princess Jade. She is of hunting stock through her family linage. However, Jade was never trained as a hunting dog. The closest she came to participating in the action, was her one and only trip to Saskatchewan, duck hunting with Chili several years ago.  Jade was really keen, she did not even mind the quick airplane ride in a dog kennel.  She was happy to see the other dogs and even happier to greet their owners.  However, when the first gunshot sounded Jade quickly retreated under the trailer-home, until everyone came back from the sporting activity.  Jade had quickly decided that not only did she dislike the sound of the guns, she was not sure about swimming in cold water, lying quietly and chasing dead birds. Needless to say, Jade has never been invited back to the annual hunt. Jade is clearly not a Truffle Dog either.  She does have keen sense of smell and can find bits of discarded food in the oddest places.  However, she does not have a discerning nose and that is what is required for black (or white) truffle hunting.  Truffles are a prize gourmand food in Europe and with increasing popularity and production levels on other continents. (more…)

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January 24, 2011

Provence’s Black Truffle Demystified

Provence’s Black Truffle Demystified

It is close to impossible to buy Ginger a present.  He loves sporting equipment, electronics, airplanes, wine and other expensive things.  He is diligent about doing the research on a product, and ensuring that he is getting it at the right price.  Ginger is also has very good taste, so these new toys have a tendency to raise the Visa balance to new levels.  Nutmeg often struggles to find the right gift.  This year with a bit of help from a friend, she landed on the perfect Christmas, Anniversary, Valentines, Birthday gift (read: $$$..). Black truffle plants, ten of them. Nutmeg decided that the white truffle version he will have to buy for himself.  So yes, he is the proud owner of some 2010 variety plants, they should bare “fruit” in about seven years.  Ginger’s plants are very fortunate to be located on a plantation, in the well drained soil on the Valensole plateau in Provence. (more…)

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