truffles one

Truffles in France



hunt truffle atmosphere (2)
sniff thrive underground
tuber nestle surrounding
root optimal mushroom
track species top-grade
region scrutinize track them down
grate garnish get the hang of it
soil district art nouveau
local plantation chalk/chalky
covet fungus shade/shady
coast fetch (2) no wonder
worth show you


Video: Truffles in France



Hunting for truffles in the Lorraine region. To sniff then out here, the experts use dogs, not pigs.

The tubers thrive underground, nestling between the roots of surrounding plants. Many of the local species grow only in shady areas, and are difficult to find.

Jean Marie Luven offers courses on how to track them down.

Jean Marie Luven: “I collect mushrooms myself. Someone can show you how it works, and you can go searching yourself. But this is a special art; and you need the kind of atmosphere where you find here to get the hang of it.”

Nancy is the place to go for truffles in Lorraine.

At L’Institut, nearly every dish on the menu, whether fish, vegetable or meat is garnished with grated truffles.

The restaurant is the oldest art nouveau-style restaurant in town. Its host, Bruno Ballureau knows his mushrooms.

Around forty years ago, his father invested in the first truffle plantation in the district. The region’s chalky soil provides optimal conditions for growing the coveted fungus.

Bruno Ballureau, Restaurant Owner, L’Institut: “Why take a dog if you look for truffles in the Louise or Lotrofmosel? I cook with truffles from Nancy. It’s only about two kilometer from here.”

And here’s where you can buy them: at the Pun Noi Market just east of the city center. Here every tuber is closely scrutinized for quality.

No wonder, the black truffles found in Lorraine and the south of France cost around €400 per kilo.

And that’s nothing compared to white truffles from Italy’s Piedmont region.

The same amount of top-grade tubers from there can fetch up to €9,000.

And that’s why it’s well worth going out to search for truffles yourself.

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1. People find truffles by themselves, all the time. True or false? Are they easy or difficult to find?

2. Do the truffles grow alone or in symbiosis with other plants?

3. Anyone can easily start to find truffles. Is this right or wrong?

4. As a tuber, are truffles cooked and eaten like potatoes (and made into French fries)?

5. Are truffles are served in fast food restaurants, or upscale, gourmand restaurants?

6. All truffles are the same and sold and bought at the same price. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. Can truffles be compared to gold?


A. I have tasted truffles. Yes or no? Do you know anyone who has eaten truffles? Are there restaurants in your city that serve truffles?

B. What are the most expensive food items in your city? Why are they so expensive?

C. Are there farms or plantations to cultivate expensive crops?

D. Is there a great commercial potential for these food items?

E. What will happen in the future?


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