Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Truffle Hunter

The corner of Guillaume's workshop
Guillaume is the quintessential Frenchman. Charming with a commitment to la bonne vie and a quick sense of humour.  He is well versed in many and varied topics and quite handsome.

Guillaume is also a stonemason par excellence: an old school artisan with skills that are sadly disappearing in France. His work can be found in all manner of ancient buildings across the country, including a few famous cathedrals and chateaux ……….and now in My French Folly.

An invitation to his meticulously restored maison revealed an enormous hand-built wood-fired oven in the kitchen, a productive orchard and potager and a decent sized cellar systematically packed to the ceiling with wonderful French wines, (all reds) according to their origin. 

The subterranean cellar air was noticeably crisp and held a faint aroma of ripened fruits. Standing in the centre of this vast cave was a refectory table on which sat enormous, old glass and earthenware bottles of home made brandy and jars of preserved Tuber uncinatums –  truffles………. the size of tennis balls! 

Conversation quickly turned to cooking and truffle hunting.
Courtesy of

Yes Guillaume truffle hunts in the surrounding forests. No, he doesn’t forage with others, nor does he use a truffle pig or hound. And no, the truffles aren’t always located in the same area. The obvious question had to be asked, “How do you find them?’
Courtesy of

His eyes glinted as he gently tapped his nose and replied “mon nez”! A joke? Apparently not, according to his wife. Guillaume is so attuned to le terroir that he has no need for aids to root out his prized culinary gems.……..l'art de vivre à la français.


DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

One with the earth and it's gifts.
What a lovely invitation!
Thank you for taking us where tourists cannot go!

Josephine Chicatanyage said...

We just love truffles. We buy them in the local market in about October when they have special stalls set up. Delicious with pasta.

EG CameraGirl said...

Alas I have never tasted truffles. But I know I have missed something wonderful. Maybe someday!

Debs said...

Ahhh truffles. I love to use them when I can afford them. Alas not often enough.

NatureFootstep said...

o, that´s what they look like. Thanks for sharing. :)

Decor To Adore said...

A truly amazing gift. I once had a bit of truffle in scrambled eggs and it was delicious!

Vagabonde said...

To buy truffles here is exorbitant. I saw a special on truffles on television on Sunday. It showed how Chinese truffles are invading France – farmers are very afraid that it will hurt the local truffles. Connaisseurs can tell the difference though.

The Arts by Karena said...

How fascinating Elizabeth, truffles are such a delicacy and he even preserves them!

The Arts by Karena
Living Newport

Sara Bagés said...

Je viens sur ton blog d'auprès le blog de Manos, semble très intéressant, mais surprise, je découvre que c'est en anglais...j'en suis nulle!
Pourtant je m'y abonne, pour mieux connaître Paris il vaut la peine...
Gros bisous.