The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Dec 31, 2010

Trifling Truffles

Gerard Durrell's Marrying Off Mother: And Other Stories begins with an evocative paragraph, so evocative that I had to stop at once and type this out:

Of all the many regions in La Belle France, there is one whose very name adds a lustrous glitter to the eye of a gourmet, a flush of anticipation to his cheeks, that drenches his taste buds with anticipatory saliva, and that is the euphonious name of Périgord. Here the chestnuts and walnuts are of prodigious size, here the wild strawberries are as heavily scented as a courtesan's boudoir. Here the apples, the pears and the plums have sublime juices captured in their skins, here the flesh of the chicken, duckling and pigeon is firm and white, here the butter is as yellow as sunshine and the cream on top of the churns is thick enough to balance a full glass of wine upon. As well as all these riches, Périgord has one supreme prize that lurks beneath the loamy soil of her oak woods, the truffle, the troglodyte fungus that lives beneath the surface of the forest floor, black as a witch's cat, delicious as all the perfumes of Arabia.


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