Don’t let the only wet day on a tour for a long time dampen any spirits. Anyway that was my motto as we set off to meet Hubert and Claire Martin in an original Clos (walled property ) belonging to Claire’s brother Jean Louis.
Our morning was all about truffles starting with a demonstration with Hubert’s special breed of Legatto dog – they love to eat truffles and can smell the highly pungent fungi sitting under the ground. The aim is to get there first and retrieve the truffle .
Claire was so organised and ready for our workshop. She introduced my group to the world of truffles – something very foreign to everyone except Charles. They have a reputation of being expensive ( which is true) and rare especially in the Southern Hemisphere. Truffle varieties like : Summer , Burgundy , Meuse, Brumale, Black, Borchii and Alba are now familiar to my group.
We prepared, grated and sliced a variety of truffles into – butter which was chilled and then served melted with snails , grated into very slow cooked eggs, added to a rich creamy pasta sauce for homemade fettuccine, folded through soft cheese to eat with bread and salad and finally served as ice cream.
Claire’s impeccable attention to detail down to the gorgeous presentation of each dish and her professional glossy colourful notes means we are all better informed about truffles and will be looking out for them in New Zealand .
This was a family affair and Vincent son of Jean Louis and nephew of Claire spent the afternoon extolling the virtues of Burgundian wine, clarifying the classification of the wines and helping us to understand this complex wine region.
A wine tasting at Phillip Le Clerc at the end of the afternoon reinforced all we had learned and was the completion of a huge wonderful day with a very lovely family.