Diamonds of Perigord.

The first black truffles of winter arrived in Daglan this morning and Paul was there ready and waiting to see the quality on display as were so many of the other villagers.

The aromatic smell and the dark brown almost black skin is amazing, they can regularly reach up to 10cm across although some can be bigger, one was found in the Perigord in 2012 with a mass of 1.277 kg.

The flesh is at first white, then dark which is flecked by white veins which turn brown with age. The best truffles are to be found in the forests of the Perigord with the help of a truffle dog or the occasional truffle pig. Pigs have the better nose for sniffing out the truffles but in recent years they are used less and less because they do enjoy eating them.

Truffles have earned the name ‘Diamonds of Perigord’.

Waiting to look and buy.
 

Catching up with friends at the truffle market.
 

I love the elderly gentleman on the right, his facial expression as he looks down proudly at his truffles.
 

Paul opted for one of these lovelies.
 

I had to be very quick taking this picture of our truffle, our cat Cleo just adores the smell. Last seen hunting the screwed up paper bag that our truffle came in, Who knows she could be the first truffle cat of the Perigord.
 

In cooking; black truffles refine the taste of meat, fish, soups, pasta, risotto etc. We love truffle eggs, truffle grated onto tagliatelle, truffle butter on fresh crusty bread or placed into a jar of rice for a few days so the magnificent aroma permeates the rice.

Daglan Truffle Market is held in the school yard behind the Mairie every Sunday at 11 o’clock until the end of February.

Pop in and buy one or two or more and enjoy.
 
 

Paul and I visited Sarlat Christmas Market yesterday, due to the Truffle market I got a little side tracked, next blog… I promise
 
 

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Good News, we can still buy French bread!

There is no milk in our supermarket in Daglan. In-fact no milk and no deliveries of most things will be arriving in any Supermarket for at least another week but local bread is still being delivered.

France’s major strike by the Gilets Jaunes (yellow vests) is having an effect on the Perigord area in which we live. The Gilets Jaunes are protesting against sharp increases in diesel and petrol prices which could come into force in January. This impacts on the overall rising costs of food etc. and therefore the fall in living standards for a lot of people.

We experienced the strike first hand this morning has we drove to Sarlat market. The roundabouts at two major junctions were very active with people wearing yellow vests, but traffic was flowing. On the way back from Sarlat we observed protesters who were stopping traffic going into Sarlat. Unsure for how long the delay was but expect some delays over the next few days.

More news, you can still buy local fresh vegetables and fruit at the markets… That is if you can get to them.
 

Excellent News for me this week. I have had my first Commission for my artisan embroidery work.

Truffles and truffle oil.
 

Walnuts in a wicker basket.
 

I am so trilled, excited and so very pleased that the person who commissioned me loves the embroidery pictures which will go into her two gites named “Walnut” and “Truffle”.

I am working towards an exhibition in Daglan next July and August. Which will cover a variety of themes and local interest, plus embroidered bags, cushions, pillow cases, lavender hearts etc.
 
 

Event:-Sarlat Marché de Noël, 5th to the 31st December. This years theme is Spain, I can not wait.
 
 

Club de I’Amite Meal At Le Tourepique.

Yesterday was the Generations Movement, Club de I’Amite Daglanaise Autumn Meal. Where we all come together to enjoy each others convivial company while appreciating delicious food which is of course accompanied by a few glasses of wine.

At Le Tournepique restaurant in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle you can enjoy excellent Perigordian or Basque food. Or a taste of both. They have set menus or a selection of à la carte foods of a wide variety to tempt everyone’s palate. The Restaurant is situated on the bridge at Castlenaud overlooking the Dordogne River, below the Medieval Château.

We have eaten at Le Tournepique often and can highly recommend it for the excellent food and service. Not forgetting the terrific views of the River Dordogne. They also cater for Vegetarian or Gluten Free eaters.

Menu
For the Meat Eaters.
Kir
Soup Maison (pumpkin and chestnut soup deliciously spiced)
Terrine De Foie Gras
Roti De Veau sauce cepes with Pommes Sautees
Coupe De Glaces Aux Pommes (et Alcool De Pommes) – very delicious.
Cafe
Vins – Rouge ou Rose

For Vegetarian
Kir
Soup – same as above
Courgette salad with a gorgeous vinaigrette and walnuts dressing.
Fish cooked in a cream and white wine sauce encased in a delicious herb omelette.
Dessert – same as above
Cafe.
Vins – Rouge ou Rose.

Paul, enjoying the conversation while waiting for his soup course.
 

Looking good but where is George Clooney!
 

Bon Appétit Ladies.
 

Our Maire in deep conversation. I love the gentleman on the left facial expression and the witches hat in the background of the picture.
 

Wonderful seeing you looking so well Roy.
 

“Yours will be on the table in one minute”. Eyes down and enjoy.
 

Enjoying the alcoholic dessert. I must say thank you so much to our friend sitting beside me for being so patient in trying to teaching Paul and I to speak French over the Spring and Summer months.
 
 

Events:-
Halloween 31st October
All Saints Day 1st November
 
 

To the Woods

Yesterday was Paul’s first mushroom foraging expedition into the forests that surround this area. Guided by two French experts off he went for a few hours.

A couple of lessons Paul leaned right at the start was, carry a stick for foraging and don’t touch the mushrooms until you are sure of what they are. There are many varieties of mushrooms in this particular area, some of which are ‘do not touch’, some are simply not edible and some are not tasty but, there are some that are delicious. So it is good to have an expert or two at your disposal to sort the good from the bad. If in doubt you can take your picked mushrooms to a pharmacy and they will tell you if they are safe to eat or not.

“Come on Paul catch up”.
 

They did not find any edible mushrooms in the forest but I am glad to say that he came home with a few field mushrooms which we will eat later today. Hopefully on the next visit he will be able to pick Girolle, Ceps or even Faux Mousseron (Fairy Ring) Champignon.
 

However, Paul did find lots of chestnuts which according to one of our foraging experts are excellent served with salmon. I must try that, it sounds delicious.
 
 

“The Envy Of The Whole World”.

This is how President Emmanuel Macron described the French baguette earlier this year when he backed calls to have it listed as a UNESCO cultural treasure.

Intrigued and delighted by this, I just had to find out more information about the baguette, why that shape, how did it become so popular in every corner of France, in short what is the history of the tradition French Baguette.

Delicious.

 

Starting around the 14th and 15th century people had to use a Communal oven to bake their bread, which was mostly round in shape. However, even though they were called Communal they did not belong to the Community. The oven was the property of the local Lord or the Church who would charge the surfs for baking their bread. Following the French Revolution, the ovens became the property of the village; no more fees.

 

Once a week the oven was fired up and the locals would carry the dough they had prepared at home to the oven. Each family would mark the top of the bread with a distinctive cut to distinguish their bread from the other families.

 

The ash created during the baking was collected, mixed with water and used for the laundry.

Baguette’s really took off in the 1920’s after a new law prevented workers starting work before 4am. In older to get the bread baked in time for breakfast, bakers started to make long, thin ‘wand”s of bread. Although the dough at that time was still made at home and then taken to the Boulangerie to bake.

 

Bread oven’s can be seen all over France in the Boulangerie, or in the centre of the village, in the grounds of a property or in the property itself.

So if you are looking for a new home …

 
 

Event:-Le château de Castlenaud celebrates the European Heritage Weekend on the 15th and 16th September with a Medieval Fencing Tournament.