Truffles Anyone? Our Visit to Domaine de Bramarel
As we cruised up the Rhône River, it was very seldom that you did not find Dr. Doug and I without a glass of wine in hand, however I do believe he slept with his glass.
Our excursion for the day was to a Truffle Farm in the country. Yes, a Farm. Domaine de Bramarel has been in existence since 1850 and is located in the heart of the principal truffle-producing region of France. These expensive fungi buried underground is now a science in agriculture. Mainly oak trees that are planted as seedlings and have the truffle spores implanted on their roots are grown up in a nursery awaiting to be planted into a grove. The normal tree stops producing after about 30 years, so the agriculture works well in advance of the cycle.
Both dogs and pigs have been used for finding the nuggets under the trees. Pigs, however, like to eat the truffle when they find it, so a dog is more welcome. The puppies are trained from youth and receive “treats” for every truffle found. A single truffle dog can go for up to $3,000 euros. We experienced the actual truffle hunt with the dogs as they sniffed under the oak trees. When they discovered one they would dig a little letting the owner know there was something there. After being uncovered, the dogs would get a special “treat” scented with truffle to eat. This made for very happy dogs. We were then treated ourselves to a little wine and shaved truffles and butter on a baguette. Believe me, there were truffles in our suitcase to bring back home. In our next lives, Nicole says she wants to work on a truffle farm with the dogs! Anyone interested? Bon Appetit!!!