Fall and winter is the time when our area’s scarce black truffles — or black Périgord truffles, if you prefer — sneak out of their hiding places around oak trees in the dead of night, and make their way quietly into the markets and restaurants of the Dordogne.
Okay, just kidding. They are actually found and dug up, and then brought to market. For example, the Marchés aux Truffes de Sarlat. As the sign says, the wholesale market takes place in the town of Sarlat on Wednesdays, and the retail market on Saturdays.
My wife Jan and I were in Sarlat today for lunch at one of our favourites, le Bistro de l’Octroi, and I decided to get into the truffle spirit. While my wife had the tournedos of roast duck, I chose the tagliatelle pasta with fine strips of vegetables, topped with some generous shavings of black truffle. Like this:
To accompany the duck as well as the vegetarian pasta, I thought a lighter red wine would work well, and so I chose a Brouilly from Domaine de Saint-Ennemond. (Brouilly is the largest area in the Beaujolais wine region.) Turned out to be a very good choice. This is what it looks like, once the actual wine has been consumed:
And then for dessert, I stayed with the black truffle theme — two slices of creamy Brie de Meaux cheese with sliced truffles in the centre of each slice, served with a bit of salad and the ubiquitous dusting of ground walnuts. A lovely ending to a very good meal on what turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day.