Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Black Beauties, wafting truffles from Occitania

March 7, 2005

It wasn’t a conventional Valentine’s Day gift, but I do think it should become one. I am lucky enough to have dear friends that live in a part of the world where these elephant-skinned nuggets grow underground. Fortune would have it that 2 days before their arrival up here in the Polar Circle a local Occitanian Truffle Fête was in full-swing. and JT and Kristi were wise to bring a bag filled with the little nodules.

They present me with the bag, grinning from ear to ear. I put my face inside, and inhale deeply.

I am confronted with the most glorious, heady aroma, a combination of rich, loamy earth, wafting diesel fuel, fresh ground peanut butter, and fart. Now in just the right combination, that’s a good thing.

Here’s what I prepared for the 3 of us the very next day:
- Knolsla (celeriac cole sla) with truffled mayonnaise and beet ravioli
- Truffled Chicken in salt crust with ‘basically raw broccoli’ and truffle butter
- Pots de Crumbly Crumble (truffle-free)

Never have I received such a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift; I was given an object but got an evening-filling experience. Thank you JT and Kristi!

Last summer (2004) I had the fortunate occasion to meet one of the creatures responsible for unearthing these lovelies. She is a dog named Tina, and like the majority of women in Occitania, her name is a derivative of Christine.

debra at 21:42 | | post to


  1. hi deborah,
    just saw John T. speaking today. And so back at home surfing away i skipped you way. Congrats on the amazing present!

    Comment by james — March 8, 2005 @ 19:05

  2. oh James - how cool that you were there. Leaving for India tomorrow. Let’s absolutely get together in … April. How’s stuff?

    Comment by debra — March 8, 2005 @ 23:48

  3. In the right combination? Like 10% fart? More or less? Heady peanut butter farts! YAY !!!

    I don’t have that today.

    Comment by Dr. Biggles — March 9, 2005 @ 23:08

  4. Adishatz from Occitania !
    Either i do not write a very good english …. Truffle means Trufa in occitan language, and trufa in occitan means patatoes in english ! lol
    Best regards ! & think about the french ethnocide !

    Comment by Jacme Delmas — May 4, 2006 @ 20:05

  5. Jacme, do you mean that French culture is pushing out Occitanian culture? If so, you’re right. I understood however that there are even Occitanian punk rock bands. A friend of mine teaches art classes in Sumene in Occitanian, so that’s a start.

    Comment by debra — May 7, 2006 @ 11:33

  6. Bonser d’OccitĂ nia !
    What I mean : is that France is stealing OccitĂ nia, the occitan culture is became french, andf the language ‘patois’… Diversity for Frenchies power is outside the fronteers.
    About music, we get a lot of bands, but also litterature, good wines, best meals, goods dances, etc.. a civilizacion killing by frenchies, proud frenchies from Paris o collaboration in OcitĂ nia.

    Comment by Jacme — October 25, 2006 @ 0:14

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