Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Sunday, 15 March 2015

'In Vino Valréas': Saturday sniffing out truffles @Richerenches

 Anticipation: Sigi (Siegfried Schmidt) of La Maison d'Anvers 
(Valréas) proudly showing off the magnificent 
Côte de Boeuf he would be cooking for 
us in the evening 
before we depart for the Richerenches truffle market

Yesterday morning was spent visiting the last truffle market of the 2014-2015 season at Richerenches. I have been to this market once before back in mid-January 2006 when I was on a memorably indulgent Rasteau et truffes press trip.

This time I was invited to join a group of friends, who had met through studying together at the Université du Vin at Suze la Rousse,  Like me they were staying at La Maison d'Anvers. We had met up on Thursday on my arrival in Valréas and had passed a very pleasant evening together enjoying Sigi and Vanessa's excellent cooking. Sigi takes charge of of the entrée and main course, while desserts are Vanessa's realm.    

Cour du Mistral: the street where the serious truffle business 
happens between producers, négociants and courtiers 
at the back of vans and cars 
 ... and the band played on

 Some of the Suze contingent arriving 

 Michel, the animator of the group, and his cousin Adrienne, who owns a truffière 
and explained in detail the work involved in 'cultivating' les truffes

Sophie's practical bonnet – in contrast to the lovely sunny afternoon on 
Thursday in Avignon when I arrived, Saturday morning at the market was bitterly cold. 

You don't mess with Jérôme Arsac!

The difference between the two main types of truffle found here:
the finer and more delicate melanosporum and brumale with 
a stronger aroma and flavour. The melanosporum is best used raw, 
while the brumale can be cooked

 Different types of truffle 

Florence investigating a truffle

 a discreet transaction ....

 weighing the truffles

A group photo op


Luc Charlier said...

The last truffles happen to be "flooding in" here as well, Jim, much later than in previous years. We've had them in a plenty (but the price did not go down). I'm a little puzzled by your eating of beef steak at a restaurant mentioning "Anvers".
There exists a specialty called "Filet d'Anvers", that is a -partly-smoked - cured piece of HORSE filet-meat (the ilio-spinal muscle, equivalent to coppa or lomo in pork) or some other parts of the carcass. It is both tender, tasty and relatively low in fat. Delicious !

Jim Budd said...

Luc. if you had had the good fortune to taste the Côte de Boeuf you would not have been surprised! The Maison d'Anvers is a Chambre d'Hôtes, gité and restaurant run by Sigi and Vanessa. They ran a restaurant in Anvers until, like you, the pull of the south proved to be too strong.