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

Cèpes are proof that Gawd loves us, and wants us to be happy

August 29, 2006

boletus, cèpe
Today in the market it was all pointy elbows and wingflappenings. Watch out for elderfolk in packs.

‘Cèpes are proof that Gawd loves us, and wants us to be happy…’ Also sprach Ben Franklin. At least that’s what folks down here in Occitania are saying he said. Then there are the other folks with a different take on the true sujet of this quote, but my point is, I’ve just eaten some cèpes and I’m quite convinced they could whoop any truffle’s ass.

“Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our woodlands; there it showers upon the leaf mould, to be changed into cèpes; a constant proof that Gawd loves us, and loves to see us happy…”
Benjamin Franklin in a letter to AbbĂŠ Morellet (1779)

Thank Gawd for cèpes.
Vielen Dank.

boletus, cèpe
Cèppity peppity!

Today the cèpes appeared for the first time at the market. Not local ones, but from two faraway sources, the Lozère (€ 8,- per kilo, looking a bit poorly, wetly and wormly), and the Ardèche (€ 20,- per kilo, sheer perfection). I bought two from the Ardèche and raced home to get on the horn with Peggy and gloat.

Since the onset of unseasonally cool weather, I’ve been pestering our resident mushroom expert Peggy to go mushrooming with me. Never mind that she’s wearing a cast up to her knee or that she can’t walk without crutches. We’re talking cèpes! Peggy, a bonafide mushroom freaque, has offered to sit in the car while new-guy-in-town Ari and I proxy-crawl around through the leaf-mould on our bellies.

boletus, cèpe
I wish I had found this here big pile o’ cèpes!

The two cèpes that I bought didn’t make it past lunch. No time for taking pictures. I just brushed them off, sliced them thinly and fried them in slightly salted butter. This became the topping for some full-fat scrambled eggs (eggs whipped up with more than a llittle creme fraiche, fried in the mushroomy butter). We devoured this heavenly meal with our eyes closed and then licked the remaining beads of cèpe butter out of the bowls with our fingers. There was a lot of sighing. And that’s when we started with the crazy proclamations, like the one about cèpes being more delicious than truffles! It was just one hour ago, but I’m still bringing my hands to my nose to inhale deeply.


Please pray that it rains on our mountains.

synonyms: Bolet comestible, Cep, Cèpe de Bordeaux, Champignon Polonais, King Bolete, Penny Bun, Porcini, Steinpilz

debra at 16:38 | | post to

1 Comment »

  1. hear hear!
    I just tried my first painted boletes from Honey Hollow farm. numinous.

    Comment by the chocolate lady — September 29, 2006 @ 8:52

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