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The Ampélofolies of Cabardès
Since the beginning of December, it’s the only thing people have been talking about; the markets flourish and fans don’t miss a sale. The truffle is back in the Aude and has taken prime place among the tastes of the region. All the good restaurants have already introduced the flavor, celebrating the season of subtle tastes freshly harvested!
Ampélofolies; with a name like that, it’s sure to begin with wine! Because here the “Ampelia”, the Greek name for vines, are everywhere. We are in Cabardès, the little appellation which has gone big time. What could be more normal then, when you have a very good wine, than to use it to accompany the best!
Things had already begun the day before, just next door, in Montolieu. The famous Village of Books also celebrates its marvellous soils by accompanying its wine by an equally exquisite nourishment: “Ces pages, Cépages”, a conference around wine in the history of art, gourmand lectures and literary meetings open the festivities!
Then came this lovely Sunday morning in the ravishing village of Moussoulens. When we arrived, we quickly saw that this was more than a simple market: Stands of savory provisions and pleasant smells invaded the square.
And the truffles? Everywhere: in omelettes, in foie gras, in roasts, in magret or in soups, in milk rice, from Marseillette, if you please, you choose! Even better: a meal especially concocted by one of the star chefs from Carcassonne, but don’t forget to reserve a place! And soon, the sale….
Equipped with our glass in a sling, an indispensible accessory for every Aude festival, we wander around to make our choice when a stirring rhythm arises near the magrets de canard: samba! It’s Botafogo Samba, one of the exciting bands that always take part in even the least event in the region.
While we rock to the rhythm of the drums, the truffles are carefully checked then placed in sealed bags. 15 kg for sale today, awaiting the start from the other side of a rope which holds back the most eager. The ceremony is very precise, because we are dealing here with the black diamond. There’s a crowd today and an hour after the start, everything has been sold!
We are pleased to have bought a lovely 52 gram piece, something to feast on for a number of days with a small cocotte roast, scallops or braised endives. It’s four o’clock, Botafogo Samba has started up again and we continue to shop around while dancing. It’s only the 22 January, 2012 has got off to a good start! Next year, we promise, we’ll let you know in advance!