The Truffle Market in Lalbenque

Even though we live in a globalized world, I’m always surprised by how many people want to make or eat anything, and everything, no matter where they live. Whether or not it makes sense.

truffle basket at market red basket of truffles

Take Parisian macarons. In the last year or so, they’ve become the new cupcake and not a week goes by when I don’t get a message about someone freaking out and wondering why the top of someone’s batch of macarons cracked, or where someone can get real, honest-to-goodness French macarons in Podunk.

marche aux truffes

Like a Parisian baguette or a croissant, if you want any of those things, you should just come to Paris and have it. If you want Texas chili, you should go to Texas. If you’re craving Kentucky fried chicken, well, then you should go to Kentucky.

Same with bagels. There’s no sense in going to Pyongyang and trying to scout out an authentic-tasting New York bagel because you won’t find a better one anywhere else in the world except in la Grande Pomme. (With apologies to the folks in Montreal; you are truly one of the best food cities in the world, but your unsalted bagels need salt.)

I’m always amused when I go to places like New York City and people say, “You absolutely have to try the croissants at _________. They’re amazing!” And I’m thinking, “Why on earth would I come to New York and have a croissant?” I would not take someone visiting Paris, from New York, to a bagel place.

truffle basket

But lest you think I’m a culinary curmudgeon, I’m guilty of a bit of culinary mondialisation myself, and have on various occasions scoured with streets and boulevards of Paris searching for good coffee and hamburgers. So there. But you really need to go to the source to get the true hamburger américain (pronounced ‘amburger, in French, without the ‘h’) or a true pain au chocolat français.

There are various places around the world where black truffles sold, but certainly one of the most famous is Lalbenque, where a weekly market takes place for the few weeks in mid-winter, the season when black truffles are unearthed. And after hunting truffles and roaming through the forests, I was delighted to find myself at ground-zero, where les truffes noires, change hands.

black truffles

Around 2pm, the folks with their wicker baskets, customized with various tea towels and pieces of fading cloth, begin to collect and position themselves in the main square, just in front of the town hall, which is fitted with the “official” scale for weighing the pricey tubers. With something so valuable, roaming pigs and charming baskets are one thing, but the bottom line is that you also want to make sure you’re getting what you paid for.

lalbenque market sign weighing truffles

The sellers line up behind a long wooden bench, with their truffles tucked under towels in their baskets before them. Next to each, or tucked within, are small signs letting buyers know only the weight of the knobbly truffes.

At precisely 2:30pm, the rope guarding the sellers is lifted and the crowd surges forward. Unlike other markets in France, it’s up to the buyer to name the price, to make an offer. Since these people have just two months to make their money, they’re not all that willing to let them go for too cheap. But compared to prices anywhere else, these truffles are a major bargain.

truffle market homme

(A friend suggested I snap up as many as I could to bring back to Paris and re-sell. But I was worried both about stinking up the train with the fragrant truffes and eating them all myself. Now that I’m home, I’m kicking myself that I didn’t bring one perfect specimen back with me. Which might have violated my own crazy culinary rules, but so be it.)

truffle seller

For nearly fifteen minutes, the town square, which looked rather sleepy otherwise, was complete pandemonium. Men surveying the scene, chewing on stubbly cigars, women gossiping in small groups and laughing, folks huddling in groups, clustered around something unseen in a vaguely sinister way, and wary buyers lifting baskets of truffles right under there nose to inhale the raunchy, explosive smell of the goods were all part of the mix. I was weaving in and out of the action, snapping pictures and eavesdropping on the rapid-fire transactions that were taking place in the particular style of French, spoken with the local accent.

pre-negotiations black truffle seller

When the action finally subsided and a good portion of the crowd left, there was one woman standing, dearly clutching a lone basket of gorgeous truffles against her chest.

negotiating truffles

She was carrying on a highly-spirited ‘discussion’, as my mother used to call it when I asked her if she and my dad were arguing, with a potential customer. But since she knew she had something that he desperately wanted, and in the end, he likely willing to pay whatever, the banter went on for a while, providing a spectacle for the crowd gathering around them. Still, neither was planning to let the other have their way without a highly-spirited fight.

They both knew they’d meet somewhere in the middle. But in France, the resolution is never as important as the chemin (path) to getting there; the weaving around, chatting, and occasional bickering that accompaniments almost any transaction, is part of the ‘sport’ of everyday life. (Which is why I often feel like a kickball around here.)

holding out for more money truffle saplings

They finally settled on a price, which was somewhat upwards of €400. But the exact amount I’m not sure of, because—as they say, what happens in Lalbenque, stays in Lalbenque.

And after spending a week in the Lot, one might become jaded and a little basket of dirty spores covered in earth could become a bit ho-hum. So it was on to the truffle conditionneur

lots of truffles

….where I was blown away by the sheer quantity of black truffles in one place. I wish I could describe the indescribable: the smell of a room filled with probably at least a thousand, highly odorous, truffes noires.

(To be continued…)

Related Posts

Truffle Hunting (Part 1)

Black Truffle Extravaganza (Part 3)

Cahors (Part 4)

61 comments

  • More fab photos! Thanks! Eagerly awaiting la suite…

  • Seriously David, I think you are contributing to our delinquency. I mean, who wouldn’t read this and want truffles immediately? Just look at the way that woman is cradling her basket! She holds it like the goose’s golden egg, (and yes, I know that it kind-of is a golden egg!). I admit that I struggle with the issue of sticking to the ‘local’ myself, (http://tiny.cc/YKpNb), and I’ve been struggling with it lately. But although I would love a lemon tree – the idea is preposterous without a conservatory. Am I going to build a conservatory for a tree? No. When you take something out of context, it’s never quite the same… is it? I miss the smell of the ocean, but I wouldn’t want it blowing through the forest in Vermont.
    I look forward to truffle market part two…
    :)

  • Uh oh…Montreal bagel devotee here (I’ve tried the ones in NYC, and they’re just not as good)!

    But about the truffles: I love this series. The photos are incredible and make me feel like I was there myself, which is a total treat. The storytelling is even better.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  • Michaela: I’m all for eating local. But around here, our diet would consist largely of sugar beets, Champagne, and brie de Meaux. And while I’m not opposed to either (especially the brie de Meaux and Champagne parts), I’m fairly attached to coffee, chocolate, and can’t get my vitamin C from the grapes in Champagne. (Or can I?)

    I go to a wine tasting occasionally and the wine master, who has a wine shop, refuses to sell wine during or after the event. He says he wants us to concentrate on just tasting the wine, and enjoying what’s inside the glass. Not thinking about how many bottles we can buy and how we’re going to bring it home.

    For some of us (and I mean, me too), we’re so eager to buy something, that we forget just to enjoy it rather than “own” it. It’s something I’ve learned from living in Europe—although I have to admit that I wouldn’t mind “owning” one of those truffles right about now!

    Anna: Sorry, but like the unsalted bread of Tuscany, I can’t find the appeal of unsalted bread or bagels. Don’t they taste flat to you? (Even with topping on them.)

  • David, Thanks so very much for allowing us to accompany you on the truffle hunt and the trip to the market. It’s like stepping back in time. Even though I wouldn’t recognize a truffle if it hit me in the nose, I find this subject and your photos fascinating. Thanks again.

  • I said it on the previous part of this post…. WOW!

    Would love to experience the whole thing, from wandering the woods pig in hand, to selling at the market… awesome!

    Dylan

  • I love the pictures and the story of the lady :). You succeed really well to describe that particular french athmosphere, I find exactly the reflect of what I know/knew in your way to see and tell those things.

  • Wow — your parents had “discussions,” too?

    Can you (or have you already) described the scent of a truffle? I’ve never had the luxury of smelling one myself — and I realize I might be asking the impossible — but I feel like one of my senses is getting stilted. Well, I guess more than one, since I’ve never tasted them either. The photos and description are just getting us so close to them, it seems like we’re supposed to smell them too.

    When will the internet catch up to our needs?

  • If you want Kentucky fried chicken, go to… Virginia… Or the other places he worked along the way to Kentucky. Take care not to confuse local preparation with local ingredients or local recipes.

    I’m quite a fan of cuisines expanding. They change as they spread. New ideas appear. Some ideas are lost, keeping the original unique over time. There’s a nifty book, The Food of a Younger Land, that collects unused FWP depression-era food writing from around the country. You can see how some foods changed as they spread, and you can appreciate the good changes, explain the bad, and still enjoy the original if you travel.

    I’m not a fan, however, of insisting on eating what you would eat at home when traveling. That makes no sense whatsoever.

    Oh, but truffles overcome it all. I haven’t had truffles in a few years, but I still smell them through your photos and words… ohhh…

  • Dude! Macarons are so not the new cupcake. They are just macarons, which are good in and of themselves!

    http://www.homemakers.com/blog/danasblog/2010/02/02/topline-trends-tuesday-why-macarons-and-whoopie-pies-are-not-the-new-cupcakes/

  • DAVID!!!! What did a Montreal bagel ever do to you, huh?

    ;-)

  • I envy you for having been to this market!

  • What an experience! I’m so surprised that the folks would let you take photos of such a notoriously secretive pastime.

  • Thanks for a close look at the truffle mafia.
    Could you buy any truffle dishes, like soft-scrambled eggs with truffle slices, or was it all about the raw product?
    And I’m in agreement with you about the bread of Tuscany. It’s aching for a teaspoon or so of pure salt love.

  • I agree with your take on going to the source if you really want the best there is to experience. I also love this moment in time you’ve captured. Makes me smile to learn of a very specific tradition connected to sourcing food. That’s the stuff of life.

  • Sorry David but Montreal bagels are so much better than New York ones. BTW, I really enjoy your blog and I think you have a real gift for photography.

  • So far in life, my only truffle experiences have been truffle butter (which didn’t really taste of anything that I could tell) and a sliver of truffle stolen from my brother’s wagyu carpaccio place (which also didn’t taste discernably of anything). I desperately want to find out what all the fuss is about – just a smell would be enough!

    Still, I am coming to Paris in March, perhaps I’ll have to add “find truffle” to “find croissant, maracron, kalouga chocolate”…

  • Your photographs are among the most vivid and interesting I have seen with any story about truffles. Thinking back to various books and articles on the subject, I don’t recall any that have made as strong an impression! Beautiful. Looking forward to Part 2.

    As to the difference between New York and Montreal bagels, I don’t know from personal experience. However, I live in New England and my bagels get delivered from Zabar’s via FedEx.

    As for why look for a great croissant in the U.S.? I got back from Paris a few months ago… and darn, I had some really lousy croissants there. I turned to my friend and said,
    “Do you suppose they’re imported?” As bad as anything I’ve had in the states. Almost as though they had been popped into an oven courtesy a little fat doughboy.

    I realize from reading some blogs, I should have tried Pierre Hermes for fabulous croissants. Would you agree?

  • I wish your posts were in smell-a-vision (or smell-a-’puter) since I am embarrassingly unfamiliar with the smell of truffles (except for chocolate ones : ). Are they up there with durian for the king of stench?

  • The resolution never is as important as the path, is it? Beautiful post, amazing photos.

  • I like what you said in your comment about the wine maker wanting the crowd to enjoy the wine at hand, (I assume that nothing else was served with it) without the intent of purchase. We have been so market driven that we do fail to stop and appreciate the “art” of something at it’s source. Once I do make the purchase, I tend fret over to whom, when and with what, to serve it to show it to it’s best advantage. I’ll remember this from here on out.

    I’ve never had a truffle. If they are to the root vegetable what good caviar is to fish, then I’m not sure they would be something I might appreciate as others do. And…they look sort of like dry animal poop.

  • I agree. People get so caught up with what everyone is talking about or what is the flavour of the month that they think you “should” eat anything anywhere. I’ve given up croissants in Vancouver unless I make them myself. And on the weekend I noticed little pink macarons at a a very well known chain of bread bakeries. They looked ridiculous amongst all the rustic brown loaves and puffy chocolate chunk cookies and brownies. What are people thinking! If you wanna a macaron, go to the source, otherwise enjoy all the great sweets we do well where we live!

  • I am loving the truffle saga. Very well written and with your great photography I very well could be there, too.

  • There is much to love about living in California. Sadly, bagels are not on the list. It’s been years (years!) since I’ve had a decent bagel. And wouldn’t you know it? During a recent whirlwind trip to NYC for my sister’s wedding, we were so busy with family and wedding activities, we didn’t have even a single bagel. Kicking myself now.

    As for New York croissants… I seem to recall at least one croissant that was enjoyed by a certain someone. Non? ;)

  • (first time commenter here)

    I know it’s a post about truffles, but having eaten both NYC and Montreal bagels within days of each other…I have to give it to Montreal. I honestly didn’t even realize they were missing salt until I recently read that they were. To me, they were just addicting.

    That aside, I do tend to think that we believe we have the right to eat anything we want, any time we want. It greatly saddens me that I can’t eat a Montreal bagel any time I want. Now that I live in NC, I’m sure once I don’t, I will be sad that I can’t eat NC barbeque any time I want. But of course I think this also makes people forget what is special about food. Cities like NYC/LA provide their inhabitants with every imaginable choice, and whenever I meet someone who doesn’t live there anymore, all they do is lament over not having access to everything. On one account, sure it would be great to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. On the other hand, there is something to be said for taking the time to realize what is special about wherever you live and embracing it. I am not sure we do such a great job, though I think we’re learning.

  • David,

    If truffles are only available to be harvested for a brief period each year, will they “keep” in cold storage for a length of time or do they have to be processed some how?

  • Susan: It’s like taking photos. When I worked in a well-known shop in Paris. People would just come in, snap a few pictures, then leave. It was okay with us that people were taking photos, but it was sad that they weren’t seeing the beautiful things and enjoying being in the shop.

    I tell people when I lead tours, “Appreciate it first, then take a picture.” Sometimes we get wound up in being in a new place and want to whip out our cameras and we miss out on what’s in front of the lens.

    Lizounette: It’s because I stopped and appreciated them first, before taking the pictures! ; )

    Lentilbreakdown & Katy: I can’t describe the smell. It’s odd, but incredibly alluring. And once you’ve smelled one, it’s pretty easy to get hooked. Unfortunately.

    Patti & Nick: Sorry, but although there is really great food in Montreal (including the amazing Schwartz’s deli), I really, really wanted to like the unsalted bagels, but I just couldn’t. If they would just put a sprinkle of salt in the dough, I would give them a big thumbs up.

    Marlene: There are some lousy croissants here, as well as the good ones. I don’t get over to that part of the city much, but I wrote about what I think is one of the best croissants in Paris, and usually pick one up from there, when I get the craving.

    CanadianKaren: Fresh truffles last up to two weeks. So if they’re going to be kept any longer, they’re usually canned or otherwise preserved. My next post about truffles, I’m going to show a place that transforms truffles.

  • I think you hit the nail on the head when you described the smell as “raunchy”, for those wanting to know. Raunchy in a (very!) good way.

  • David, thanks for these posts on the truffles and the process behind them . . . they really are a good read. Hopefully a few more to come in the series!

  • We lived in a little town called Villeneuve-Loubet a few years ago and every year around this time they have La Fete de la Truffe. We thought we would walk down and check it out and maybe (finally!) get to taste a real truffle! Wrong. Everything was so expensive and nobody was doing tastings of anything, not even truffle infused olive oil. The truffles themselves were being handled like gems and we couldn’t get close enough even for a whiff.
    Guess I’ll just keep dreaming.

  • My heart is brimming with joy after reading this. While living in france I was constantly inspired by the artisans, purveyors and connoisseurs of food. What a special experience. It served as a big inspiration for my current book.

  • I’ve had some really good macarons in Podunk.

  • I admit to having had the unusual good fortune to purchase a 1/2 kilo of truffles from the wholesaler Monteil in Brive-le-Gaillarde (we were there for the foire de foie gras). Back in our Limousin kitchen we cooked these beauties with eggs, with potatoes, in rice and in a cream sauce with pasta. And the favorite combination was……. truffles with pasta. Thanks for bringing back fond memories…

  • Here, here on your spot on comment about local foods eaten elsewhere. It’s especially painful, as you said, if you’re from a place known for it’s food. I’m from New Orleans and constantly get told where in Texas, Michigan, etc to get good Cajun food. No thank you, I think I’ve had the real thing. Same with Paris as you said (though, no doubt, ya’ll have most places beat on foods that elsewhere in the world people feverishly try to replicate)

    And also agree with macarons! What happened? When did they become the new kitsch food?? Lol not to all argue but on top of all that, I can smell those truffles through my screen! Wowza!

  • If only my wallet would allow me to eat where my heart lingers. Globalization does make everything so readily available but it never tastes quite the same. I enjoy Socca in my own American kitchen, knowing very well that it’s missing un petit je ne sais quoi only available in my childhood city of Nice.
    I really enjoy your writing, David. It’s always a real pleasure no matter where I am. :-)

  • Hi David, I am enjoying your truffle adventure! Actually, all your posts are wonderful and I always look forward to receiving them.
    Being from Toronto, Canada I must mention Gryfe’s Bagels as being top contenders! Okay, I’ve had my say and I thank you for the opportunity :)
    Keep up the great work ~ looking forward to part 2.

  • (first time commenter too… tu m’as eue par les sentiments, David)
    Montreal bagels are not meant to be salty/savoury; they’re sweet, like the honeyed water they’re boiled in. (And they’re perfect that way ;)

    In case you were still wondering about a French word for “crumble”… we call them “croustades” here, as in “croustade aux pommes” (i’ve been browsing old old posts)

  • What fabulous photos of the market scene. I could practically hear the babble of voices.

  • I would love to visit that market too…love the red checkered towel in the basket!

  • Dawn: Those are pretzel croissants, a species born and bred in New York City. So it’s appropriate to eat them there. However if someone was to import them to Paris, well, I would really have to re-think this post.

    (Now I’m thinking someone out there is probably making black truffle bagels. I hope I haven’t started something…)

    Annie: In France, a croustade generally refers to something like a free-form tart. But I did a search and found that some people do use ‘croustade aux pommes’, but it seems to be a Canadian thing. Non?

    Mari: If you share that address, they’re going to get innundated with requests, I assure you!

    Kristin: In an country where it’s usually off-limits to touch the food at the market, the truffle vendors let you lift the basket to smell them, but you’re not allowed to touch the truffles (or at least I was told not to.) I think if you’re a very serious buyer, like the gentleman in the picture, he was fondling them, because you don’t want to pay €400 for a basket of spongy, moldy spores.

    Barbra: I knew you’d like that…

  • I am so with you about enjoying something at the source! Once Americans decide we like something, we want now and for it to be accessible all the time. Seasonable delights and exotic tastes are good, in part because of their unattainably. Truffles, fois gras, caviar, etc are heavenly a couple times a year, but eating them every day would ruin them.

    And bread without salt should be outlawed. Not even your coveted salted butter can fix it.

    Thanks so much for this post. I think next year I will go to a truffle village…it looks too good to miss.

  • Fab post! I can’t wait to read the rest of it :D

  • Great series, David! It takes me back to L’albenque, where we had a truffle omelet lunch before the 2:30 “opening bell” and, as you said “pandemonium” in the square. When vendors lifted the cloth to reveal their truffles, the whole street was “perfumed” with that musky, earthy aroma – so difficult to describe. Better to taste. After reading your post, I am prompted to go to our local truffle market on Monday at St-Alvère, where scales are also now a necessary part of each truffle transaction. Will follow your next steps…

  • This is so much fun to read about…I remember reading about truffle hunting pigs when I was a kid and couldn’t wrap my brain around it then…now it all makes sense..thanks for such a fun read….

  • One of the best meals I ever had was the simplest truffle gnocchi at a villa in Umbria, where we were staying on holiday. The owners of the villa owned a few acres of land where truffles grew and they let the local trufflers farm their land in exchange for a handful of truffles out of every haul. They cooked us dinner one night and they used truffles like parmasan over the gnocchi and they were by no means stingy with it. That gnocchi was so amazing, it has ruined me forever. I’m sure nothing has ever tasted quite the same again. I tend to only eat truffles when I go to Umbria, as they are such a local delicacy and they use them with everything.

    As an aside, the owners of that villa said that every year at least one truffler’s dog (as they generally use dogs not pigs) is murdered by a rival truffler. Competition is fierce.

  • Hi David,
    that type of post, more like a” reportage” is what I crave from you.please keep those coming…..

  • “Anna: Sorry, but like the unsalted bread of Tuscany, I can’t find the appeal of unsalted bread or bagels. Don’t they taste flat to you? (Even with topping on them.)”

    Not flat at all. Intensely chewy, yeasty, nutty from the sesame or poppy seeds, rich crust from the brick oven. Honestly, there is just no way it is flat. Especially when topped with fresh cream cheese and smoked salmon. You must have got a dud batch…guess you’ll just have to come back to Canada and try again! (they need to be eaten as close from the oven as possible; otherwise I’d mail some convincing specimen your way.)

  • This year we didn’t go to our local truffle fair, which is at Merigny Marmande in the Touraine. We have been the last couple of years, and last year and bought our first truffle. I am interested that the prices this year seem slightly lower than last year, but have to admit to being underwhelmed by the taste. I don’t know if we bought a dud, or if I just don’t “get” them, but it just tasted like wood shavings.

    I am, of course, perfectly willing to allow someone to convert me to truffles.

  • Oh well, such is globalization.

  • Truffles are wonderful, but oh how I love Parisian macarons! You’re a lucky man.

  • i’m just wondering what one has to be craving to send them to L.A.? (seriously, though, i’ve been living here 5 months–any food/resto recommendations in this City of Angels?)

  • these look amazing!

    thanks for all of the great photos. i’m so jealous that you got to go to a market like this! i’ll have to head back to europe soon!

    regards,
    pia

  • Enjoyed the post! However, I disagree with your assertion that certain regional foods can only be enjoyed in the city or place of origin. Yes, NYC has awesome bagels, but there is no reason why one can’t make a really good bagel in Paris.

    Last week, my friend Karen and I made bagels and gave one to a woman who owns a boulangerie in the 13th arrondisement. She loved it and may make them to sell here. Karen has been here 11 years, is pregnant and had a raging craving for bagels, which we were able to satisfy. Sure, if we were independently wealthy, we would have taken our private jet to NYC, but, alas, we are poor! All we could afford was time, flour, barley powder, yeast, salt, water and love.

    I suppose we should go to the source when we are able but be willing to satisfy our cravings with the next best thing, n’est pas?

  • Lisa G: I’ve had bagels that Marc Grossman made at his juice bar, from his nifty cookbook, Bagels: comme à New York. Which he sometimes makes at his Bob’s Juice Bar. Check them out!

  • I am loving these truffle stories! Great text, great photos. Sadly I have never tried a truffle as I live in the great Midwest of the U.S.A. But that means I can collect morels out my back door!

  • Highly spirited discussion indeed … Hahaha ….
    That’s cute. She’s of course, clutching those prized truffles like they’re her babies.

  • David,

    I was wondering – would it be possible to have a full size copy of your photo of the farmer with his pig… the one with blue sky in it?

    I really love it and would like to be able to print it out and frame it… Just for me, no financial gain… let me know what you think!

    S

  • Hi Sarah: You can click on the photo, which takes you to Flickr, where the photo is hosted. Then click ‘all sizes’, and download the size that you want. As long as it’s for personal use, it’s fine. Glad you like the shot!

  • David, those are great photos. I go to Lalbenque pretty regularly, living just under two hours away, and have taken nothing remotely comparable. Have you come across Truffle Tree? My site where you can adopt a truffle oak.

  • Wait, say, 1 cup of flour mixed with 1/2 cup of water and kneaded for 10 minutes tastes different in Paris than that same amount of flour mixed with the same amount of water and kneaded for the same amount of time in Berlin :D ?

    Or a Parisian will make a French-tasting dough in Berlin, but the Berliner will make a German-tasting dough in Paris, using exactly the same amounts of everything and exactly the same technique?

    And bad German dough for a German dish is better than a good French dough for the same dish?
    If a Berliner uses a bit less water, it a ‘traditional, closely-guarded family recipe’, a ‘nice take on the old recipe’ and if a Parisian does it, it’s an abomination?

    Blind-tasting, anyone :D ?

    Since it’s a bit hard telling the tone when communicating over the Net, even with the emoticons, the tone of this comment is jocular :) .

  • Hi David,
    I m Riena from indonesia. I found out your website by reading some other cooking blog. I forgot which one though. I love your website, it is funny, informative and beautifully decorate with great pictures. Actually, i m not a kind of person who regularly gave comment to blog or website. But one thing made me interested is your post about truffle. Because the more i read it the more i believe i ve seen it, taste it and hunting for it before back in my village. Here we call it “jamur melinjo”, it is not sell in the market or elsewehere because it has no value here. The smell is so strong and it makes us dizzy if we eat it alot. But if u eat and cook it properly it taste so good. We usually steam it with turmeric, other spices and salt.
    The funny thing is, i just got to know that this mushroom is so expensive in france or maybe somewhere else. Sadls, i didnt find the this truffles nowadays, i think the climate and human acts made it gone back in my village. If i found one i ll take a pic then give it to analyze whether it is same thing or not.
    :) And David, if u want a real tongue-adventure then try to come to Indonesia. You will be shock with richness and tastes of our foods. i promise you. :)