Welcome to the Truffle Domain of Saleix



GUIDED & PRIVATE TOUR IN ENGLISH 

 

Visit of the “truffière”-  Truffle hunting - Explanations - Tasting

 

GUIDED PRIVATE TOUR

 

GOLD TOUR: 

english spoken, private guided tour  (few people)

  • truffle hunting: walk on the "truffières", truffle hunting with our dog ("cavage") , culture explanations historics, etc.
  • tasting : truffled toasts with a drink (sugary white win) in our tricentinary typical house. 
  • lasting around 1h 30.
  • price: 20.00 € per personn (free until 14 years old) 

 

PLEASE BOOK AT :

- send an e-mail  :   christine.chaminade@hotmail.fr

- phone at (french) 06 08 45 09 48

 

 

TO FIND US

Pay attention our place is situated just before the hamlet of Saleix. keep an eye out for the holm oak trees private path  (300 meters before saleix's pannel)

 

GPS : Saleix, 24420 Sorges, France:
Latitude : 45.300856 | Longitude : 0.881739

 

- Sorges (24420) is situated between Périgueux (24000) and Thiviers (24800) on the 21 national road.

- Sorges: in the new round-about turn in the direction of Savignac les Eglises (24420)

- drive 1 km and turn left in the private path (Holm oak trees and whites barriers). Go straight: this is the old stones house with blu- grey shutters.( see pictures up). 

> phone us if you get lost ! 

 

 

Mme CHRISTINE CHAMINADE

SALEIX (LIEU-DIT )

24420 SORGES

 

 

 

WELCOME

 

We welcome you in our family property of the Truffle Domain of Saleix, hardly to 1 km of SORGES, Capital of the Truffle in Périgord.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

A little of whim and the intense aroma of our winter black truffle, become fast the favorite companion of many meals for unique gastronomic opportunities.

 

Perfumed and crunchy, the fresh black truffle is named ' black diamond of the French gastronomy ' for its taste and its incomparable aroma. Its impressive flavor is complex, rustic at the same time as subtle, powerful and with an extraordinary obstinacy

 

USE

Raw or cooked, it gets in harmony with perfection with a lot of recipes.

 

CONDITIONING

After a rigorous selection, our fresh truffles are brushed and hand washed immediately after their harvest. To assure you an optimal freshness they are vacuum-packed and accompanied with freez pack during their transport, for an express delivery under 24 hours in France. We sell also truffles in can for an easier travel by plane.

 

 

OUR PRODUCTS AROUND TRUFFLES AND FOIE-GRAS

 

1)     Périgord black truffle (also call winter black truffle or tuber melanosporum)

Price: according to the offer and demand market

Quantity (weight in gram) on demand and/or cavage (truffle’s research)

Possibility of vacuum conditioning and chronopost sending.

 

 

2)      Périgord whole black truffle                                                          

10 grams glass can.

Ingredients: first quality brushed tuber mélanosporum truffle, whole truffle.

 

 

3)      Périgord black truffle, pieces                                                         

10 grams glass can.

Ingredients: first quality brushed tuber mélanosporum truffle, in pieces.

 

 

4)     Whole Foie-Gras of duck                                                               

130 grams (south-west french ducks, and Périgord)

Ingredients: whole foie-gras duck, salt, pepper).

 

 

5)     Whole foie-gras of duck                                                              

180 grams (south-west french ducks, and Périgord)

Ingredients: whole foie-gras of French duck, salt, pepper).

 

 

6)     Pâté of duck foie-gras                                                                  

130 grams (50% of south-west french ducks foie-gras)

Ingredients: foie-gras of French duck (50%), pork meat, egg white, salt, pepper.

 

 

TOUR :

First of all, let me welcome you to our family truffle plantation

Truffle has always been our passion as it has been in the Chaminade family from one generation to the next

For example my great grandfather Docteur Pradel who was a GP wrote a specialized book about the growing of truffle in 1914 and our family has lived here since the 17th century . In our house, on the mantelpiece of the fireplace you can read this date : 1686

PLANTING / GROWING

Truffles need trees to make a symbiosis development. They bring each others micro elements and oligo/ trace elements

The roots of the trees are a sort of support . There is a symbiosis between the mushroom and the roots of the host plants 

We use mycorhized trees : truffle spores have already been implanted on the roots of the baby trees

This delicate operation is made by a certified laboratory

It is an important investment because we plant trees every 4 or 6 metres and one tree costs from 12 to 15€ 

When we buy those trees they are one year old and those baby trees are very fragile 

They are 20 cm high and have 10 to 20 leaves .They will need a lot of care for at least 15 years 

WE MUST : put a net around them to protect them against rabbits, deers, wild boars

                 put plastic protection on the ground or flat stones near their trunk to keep dampness and allow insect activity ( very good for the spore dispersal and soil aeration ) but also to avoid the growth of grass or other plants which might weaken the baby trees 

                 water them several times during the summer

                 prune them twice per year

                 dig the ground ( to prevent the growth of grass )

                 beware of diseases such as powdery mildew . We can only use one natural pesticide allowed in organic culture called " bouillie bordelaise " . It is a mixture of copper sulfate and lime . After being treated, the trees will look funny because this pesticide is blue ! As it is also used for vineyards, maybe you have already seen this strange colour

BUT , alas, in spite of all this care, trees may die because of dryness, frost, damages from wild animals, diseases or because they have been choked by grass or other plants

 

 

Most of the time, we plant endemic oak trees. It is also possible to plant holm oak trees , hazel trees or even pines

Holm oak trees are interesting because they have a good resistance to diseases and dryness but they come from the South East of France and therefore they are very sensitive to frost . The last two winters were very cold with temperatures under 20 degrees Celsius during 2 weeks . Then a lot of holm oak trees died or had to be severely pruned . But when climate conditions are good , those trees can produce earlier ( when they are only 10 years old )and they need less care

The quality of the soil is very important too . It has to be chalky ( limestone )with a PH of 7 and it has to be well drained

But as well, it is important to choose the right place for planting those trees 

Former woods or forests must be avoided because they bring too much humus whereas lands where wheat and grapes grew before are recommended because those crops have already deeply aerated the soil

We have to wait between 10 or 15 years before being able to harvest the first truffles . But only 10% ( in the better case 15 % )of mycorhized trees will produce truffles . And the production varies according to weather conditions , the quality of the soil and of course the passing of time 

When trees are big ( after 15 years ) we have to work the land once a year but just on the surface ( not too deeply or we might damage the roots ) and prune the trees twice a year . Afterwards they must look like an upside down umbrella in order to get sun around the trunk and allow the roots to develop according to the form of the branches 

Shade and grass are the worst enemies of "truffières "!

The other big concern is soil consistency : big tractors and heavy machines mustn't be used on a truffle place ( ="truffière ") because they crush the ground, destroy mycorhizes and small truffles in development . This is why we mustn't walk on a 

truffle place as well 

In the past ( before the 2nd world war ) on the "truffières "everything was done by people as there was a lot of workforce in the countryside . Thus, each operation was slowly, carefully and softly done . Of course , it would be better to go on like that but nowadays it is too expensive . Therefore we have to use machines even if we know that it might damage the soil

Unfortunately there is no other choice 

When a truffle place is in activity , a strange phenomenon can be noticed on the ground . It is called " brûlé " in French  (burnt or witch round is a possible translation ) .It is an aera where there is no vegetation at all as the land has been burnt

Only succulent grass / sedum is able to grow there . Then it may be the sign that underneath truffles are present . But nothing is certain . It is a pure enigma ! Sometimes truffles can be found under moss or grass and sometimes , there is nothing under the "brûlé " !!! What a mysterious world and an amazing crop !

Another information : as truffle places are and have to be organic , we can find wild orchids and other rare plants all around together with a large range of insects and earthworms which are very good fot the aeration of the soil and the spreading of spores

 

 

How to grow truffles ?

Truffle is a mushroom which grows under the ground in symbiosis with a tree . The mycellium ( like an invisible net under the ground ) of the truffle develops on the roots of the tree . And once a year ( depending on the variety of trees / truffles ) it produces a sort of fruit = a truffle . Afterwards, ripe truffles will spread spores ( mycorhizes ) in the ground and thus, naturally,new truffles will develop the following year 

But the mycorhizes are very fragile and don't like sharing their ground . If there are other spores, truffles will never develop even if their mycellium is there 

Moreover, if the weather varies from one year to the other, if there is drought or long frost periods, too much rain in the spring or summer etc..., truffles will be rare and that is why the price is never the same and more often very high 

We talk about growing truffle . But actually we should be honest and humble because it is impossible to "domesticate " truffles . We try very hard , that's all . We cherish our trees and hope that our work will be rewarded . It takes a lot of time, work, money and space  . It is a real investment  . So we'd better use the word passion

My father has "truffières " but they come from my great grandfather 

In 1835 , my ancestor Louis Montignac ( who already lived in the house where I live now ) planted 2 hectares of oak trees and 10 years later he harvested 200 kgs of black smelly truffles ! Those numbers make me dream . Alas, today , things are very different

The "savoir-faire " ( knowhow ) has been lost . During the last two world wars, men had to leave their farms and join the army . Sometimes they never came back . Meantime , women had to look after their families, animals and wheat crops  .

Then no-one had time to care about "truffières ". They were abandoned and they even disappeared in the end just like the "savoir-faire " which was at that time orally transmitted 

Now, the worforce is too expensive. We use machines and the weather has changed a lot . So we have to experiment and find our own methods for growing truffles but we can still read old books like the one written in 1914 by my great grandfather Docteur Pradel entitled : Manuel de Trufficulture 

 

<< Nouvelle zo

DIFFERENT SORTS OF TRUFFLES

In Périgord there are 3 kinds of truffles

 - Tuber Aestivum : it is a summer white truffle which is black outside with lots of white and beige veins inside

                             Its aromas are light with notes of under wood and mushroom . The price is around 125 € per kilo

                             It is better to eat it raw ( on a piece of toast or grated on fresh pasta ... ) If you cook it you will lose its

                             aromas . The season of harvest is between June and September

- Tuber Brumale    : It is a winter truffle . It is black outside with big grey and beige veins inside . Its smell is strong and 

                             musky . It tastes like humus, earth and it is sometimes bitter . The price is around 400 € per kilo

                             You can cook it and put it in stuffing, omelets ... We find it in wintertime from November to February

- Tuber Melanosporum = THE black truffle of Périgord  ( its botanic name )

                            It is known worlwide and very very famous . Of course this is the sort of truffle we try to cultivate here

                            It is black/ brown outside ( brown /red when it isn't ripe )and has lots of black and beige thin veins

                            inside . Its smell is very strong ( like dry mushroom, wet wood , humus ) It is crispy in mouth and its

                            aromas are persistent and very special ( a mixture of earth and wood humus with spicy hazel nut 

                            notes ) . The price is around 900 € per kilo . You can eat it raw ( on a piece of toast ) or cook it to use

                            it with scallops, camembert cheese, fresh pasta , stuffed chicken, omelets , scrambled eggs ...

                            We find it in wintertime from the end of December to February

 

The growth of French winter truffles ( Melanosporum and Brumale ) starts in spring from mycorhizes of mycellium 

Then the baby truffles develop during the summer . That is why dryness could be very damaging for our truffles but it is the same with a cold rainy summer .On the contrary hot summers with thunderstorms are fine

Truffles finally mature in autumn and the first ones are just ripe in December . But the most aromatic truffles are found in January or February

 

 

There are other varieties of truffles

 - the famous Tuber Magnatum or truffle from Alba ( Italy )

      It looks like a potato and it is beige outside with lots of thin beige /white veins inside 

      Its aromas and taste are very strong and spicy . It is used as a condiment

      It is sold by auction . The price is high . The auction starts at 2000 €

-  Tuber Uncinatum : a truffle from Burgundy ( France )

      It has light aromas

-  Tuber Undicum : a truffle from China ( Himalaya )

      It has no aromas but looks like French truffles outside 

      It grows in great quantity

 

" Cavage "or truffle hunting

 

There are 3 main ways of looking for truffles . This operation is called " cavage " from the French verb "caver " which means digging up the ground in order to look for truffles 

 

THE FLY ( suillia Gigantea of the Heleomyzidae family )

It is a little golden fly with grey wings  . Il looks for ripe truffles to lay its eggs on them .So with a long stick we gently scratch the ground to note the exact place from where the fly has taken off because at this exact place we should find a truffle 

But it is very difficult to find truffles that way as this fly only appears between noon and 4 pm when it is sunnyand it has the same colours as the ground around = beige stones ,golden leaves ...)

This method is very long and boring .It requires a lot of patience

It is rather suitable for small "truffières "

 

The pig

We use a female pig because pigs naturally dig up the ground for eating earthworms

Therefore we have to teach our female pig how to dig up the ground for looking for truffles but without eating them

Of course, to reward it we give it a treat ( wheat , corn )when it finds a truffle 

But a pig is a big animal ( 300kgs ) and it has to be kept in a pigsty when the harvest period has come to an end .

Otherwise, it will go on digging up the ground eating seeds and earthworms and it will forget everything about truffles and next winter it will have to be trained again

This method was used a lot during the last century because everyone had pigs in farms and also because it is easy to train a pig which is used to digging up and likes truffles and other tubers very much

 

 

The dog

Nowadays this method is mostly used

A dog has a very strong sense of smel land is easy to keep at home 

Any kind of dog is suitable , you just have to train it . But the dog has to be obedient and a sort of partnership must exist between the dog and its master 

We have to teach the dog how to dig up, how to listen to its master's orders , to recognize the smell of truffles ,not to scratch them or eat them and to do the job for two hours and sometimes more  . Actually we have to develop the reflex of Pavlov :of course if the dog finds a truffle it is rewarded = a truffle means a treat

After years of training, the dog becomes an expert and when it "marks " the ground it means for sure that it has found a truffle 

The dog and its master have a very strong relationship 

 

TASTING

A good and simple way of tasting the aromas of a truffle is on toasted bread 

After cutting a French " baguette " into slices, you toast them, cover them with butter and with thin slices of a fresh truffle ( winter or summer ones ) . Then you sprinkle your piece of toast with salt . But you can as well grate the truffle on this piece of toast covered with butter

The taste of toasted bread plus the taste of nut from butter will emphasize the aromas of the truffle 

Of course, champagne or sweet white wine ( like French Monbazillac )are recommended for this sort of tasting

At home, you need 10 grams of truffle per person ( except for truffle butter )

Summer truffles are better raw because if you cook them you may lose all their aromas 

Winter truffles can be eaten raw or cooked as their aromas are very strong and then there are plenty of recipes . Please, have a look at our website to discover them 

But the simplest recipes are sometimes the best : omelets, scrambled eggs , chicken stuffing or even grated on fresh pasta

 

 

French truffles can be kept for a few days in your fridge . But be careful : put them in an airtight box otherwise everything in your fridge will smell and taste like truffle even the butter for your breakfast !!!

Truffles can be preserved and then you can keep them for years 

Truffles can be vacuum- packed ( with professional quick and low temperature ) to be kept for a few months in the freezer

  

THE END

We hope you have enjoyed this tour . We have been very happy to welcome you in our old family house and to make you discover all the secrets of truffles and hopefully make you share our passion 

We hope it has been a pleasant and interesting experience

If you have any questions , please email us at :

 

info@truffle-sorges .com and we will readily answer them 

 

                       Christine Chaminade

                       Domaine de Saleix 

                       24420 Sorges et Ligueux 

 

                       06 08 45 09 48

christine.chaminade

@hotmail.fr

 

GPS : Saleix, 24420 Sorges, France:
Latitude : 45.300856 | Longitude : 0.881739

 

 

TRIPADVISOR : domaine truffier de saleix https://www.tripadvisor.fr/Attraction_Review-g1179549-d12899374-Reviews-Domaine_Truffier_de_Saleix-Sorges_Dordogne_Nouvelle_Aquitaine.html

ENGLISH SPOKEN

on request by mail

VISITES SUR RENDEZ VOUS en hiver (Tuber Melanosporum-truffe noire du périgord), et été (Tuber Aestivum-truffe blanche d'été). Consultez nos tarifs et conditions dans la rubrique VISITES de ce site.

 

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