Saturday, 27 February 2021

Mushrooms in the Markets in the Loire Valley

Good markets in the Loire Valley have mushrooms for sale. They fall into two categories -- cultivated (truffles, buttons and chestnuts in various sizes, several species of oysters, shiitake and wood blewits) or wild foraged (ceps and boletes, chanterelles and girolles, morels, trompettes de la morte and hedgehog). Expect to pay between €800 and €1200/kg for truffles (a ping pong ball sized truffle costs about €30), €10 - €15/kg for cave grown and €25 - €30/kg for wild foraged. Supermarket button mushrooms (champignons de Paris) are about €2.50/kg.

Black Truffles at the specialist market that is held once a month over winter.

If you would like to see the markets where they are sold, visit an underground mushroom farm or meet expert mushroom foragers let us know when you book your tour with us.

Wild foraged Chanterelles at a greengrocers in rue Daguerre, Paris.

A truffle orchard.



To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

The reality of market shopping in the autumn in the Loire Valley :-).

Mushrooms being cultivated in a troglodyte cave.

Shiitakes growing in a troglodyte cave.

Chestnut mushrooms (champignons rose in French).

A selection of ceps and boletes gathered by us in our local forest.

Susan's friend Dominique teaching members of the public how not to die by accidentally picking and eating a Deathcap.

Hendrick the mushroom man with his cave grown mushrooms at the market in Loches. Sadly, he  retired in January, but this was where we usually bought our mushrooms.

Homemade mushroom ragout with polenta, made using a mixture of mushrooms bought at the market -- button, blewits, oysters, shiitake, porcini, girolles.

Homemade sautéed cave grown button mushrooms, onions and lardons.

Homemade cultivated White Ferula Mushrooms (a highly sought after and rarely grown type of oyster mushroom) in cream and garlic sauce.

A wild foraged Bay Bolete (closely related to ceps/porcini) prepared for cooking at home.

Yellow Oyster Mushrooms being cultivated in a troglodyte cave.

 


Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Why are There so Many Poplar Plantations in the Loire Valley?

 

As you travel around the Loire Valley you will most probably notice a lot of poplar plantations -- regimented lines of trees on the low lying ground near the many rivers in the area. I've frequently been asked what these trees are used for. People often know that poplars were used for making matches, but who uses matches these days! The answer is much more interesting and unique to France.

 
Poplar plantation. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

The wood is used to make crates for taking fruit to market, and especially for making the little round boxes that cheese like camembert comes in. There are lots of other uses too, and if you'd like to find out more, let us know when you book your tour with us.
 
Camembert box, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

 
Vintage fruit boxes, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Vintage fruit boxes, lovingly preserved by our local organic orchard.

 To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Friday, 19 February 2021

How Tapestries Tell History in the Loire Valley


You would think that the story this tapestry coat of arms tells is all about the family who used this striking emblem. And indeed it does tell us something about them, but we have been unable to find out their name. What this tapestry patch tells us is something much broader about how the economy and society functioned in the 16th century in France. From it we can tell a lot about the history of this tapestry, without needing to know the name of the aristocrat whose symbol was lions and a golden palm tree. Intrigued? Then book a tour with us and all will be revealed.

Patch depicting a coat of arms applied to one of the Life at the Chateau series of tapestries. Chateau de Chenonceau. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.


To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.