November 05

Yesterday the 150 (ish) attendees of the fourth International Workshop on Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms were treated to a guitar serenade at a restaurant in the Sierra Espuña National Park...

Later, an elder statesman performed a lengthy pean to his wife's tortillas (I think).

Meanwhile, the truffle stuff at the workshop has been fascinating. More later - when I have time.

It's white truffle charity auction time. Someone - obviously rather wealthy - spent E95,000 on a 1.2kg white truffle. The BBC report is terse and to the point, but the Independent's coverage is rather good:

"The appeal of the tartufo bianchi was dramatically underlined in London yesterday when a bidder from Hong Kong paid a staggering E95,000 (£63,000) for a 1.2 kilo Alba at a three-country charity auction organised by Christies, making it the world's most expensive truffle and dwarfing the £28,000 paid for an 850g truffle at a similar event last year."

The writer, Terry Kirby, also has some nice colour:

"At restaurants, none of this comes cheap, of course, which can provide a shock for unsuspecting diners wishing to sample the rare treat. Three years ago, one customer at Locanda Locatelli, a central London restaurant owned by celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli, refused to pay £60 for two plates of pasta with white truffles and was locked in the toilet until he changed his mind."

I will be carrying a fully charged credit card on my European tour, and will not be going to Locatelli.

In the last few days I've noticed a new referring link in Holland popping up in my Statcounter reports: - and today the site creator, Florent de Keizer, left a comment here. Florent's new baby is a page of truffle links: and he claims it includes "all the major truffle sites on the web". I'm delighted to be included, and pleased that Florent's work makes it easier for other truffle aficionados to dig up the sometimes carefully hidden web resources. Saves me the effort of doing it myself! My only quibble? It's (rather unsurprisingly, given Florent's nationality) in Dutch. On The Farm becomes Dagboek v/e Truffelboer, which I translate as daybook of a truffle farmer. Truffelboer I may be, others might think I'm more of a truffle bore.