Ruth and Gord:  In Sorgues, the self proclaimed black Perigord truffle capital of the world, we purchased 20 grams of the ugly brown mushrooms for 25€. While we were breaking the bank, we threw in a tiny 30 gram can of pâté de foie gras for 18€. Tonight was our first night since then with access to a kitchen, at the municipal refuge for pilgrims in Roquefort, so we finally had the opportunity to taste our treasures. “Geez it looks like cat food, ” Gord remarked as we cranked open the can of foie gras. On a bit of toasted bread the greasy granules were actually pretty good, having a smooth, buttery taste.  Still, they are chunks of liver, so at 2€ per bite I believe our money may be better spent on wine or pastries.

We used the truffles in a simple omelette, a popular way to eat them.  Although the omelette was liberally studded with minced pieces of the expensive fungus, none of us could felt that their presence transformed the simple dish into ambrosia.  The truffles have a pleasant, smoky taste, but again, we would rather invest in a platter of the local chèvre shown in the photo above.
We entered the department of the Landes today.  Although we are 80 km from the sea, the soil in this region is almost entirely sand.  With limited farming value, the area was planted with pine trees in the mid-nineteenth century.  The result today is what is claimed to be the largest forest in Europe.  There was a period during which the pine trees were tapped for their pitch, but the major industry is now logging.  The region remains sparsely populated, but that presented us with no practical impediments as we sped along the quiet and almost entirely flat roads.

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