Tradition plays a strong part in Burgundy's hedonistic lifestyle so I thought I might take you on a traditional shopping trip. Although there are several large supermarkets in town, the closest being an Aldi less than 5 minutes walk away, today we decided we can do better.
Our route to "Madame Claire's" takes us deep into the hills along picturesque country roads. First we have to cross the Arroux at Toulon sur Arroux, a beautiful little town worth a post on its own but for today just a few pictures will have to suffice.
Next to the bridge we have one of the many stunning old estates that are still residences instead of museums although this would not be out of place.
A few clicks out of town one has to turn left onto a single lane road with no sign to help you find your way. Since it looks more like a driveway it is easy to miss.
Just a bit up the road one comes to an old Iron bridge back over the Arroux.
The river is swelled from recent rains.
After a few more unsigned turns we come to the "town" of Armecy with its three houses.
The centre of town. We did not know which house but we had a one in three chance of getting it right. Our first guess was wrong but unsurprisingly the friendly farmer knew which of the other two houses was Madame Claire's.
I was hoping this was not the way to the front door. Luckily it was not.
Madame Claire was a vivacious, beautiful lady in her 60's who has tended her livestock on this property all her life and according to a local (jokingly) has just recently found out that WW2 is over. I would have loved to take a picture of her hacking our huge rabbit up but thought it a bit unseemly to point my phone at her.
Anyway, here is our shopping, a 5.2kg rabbit, a 3.5kg chicken and a whole heap of farm fresh goats cheese. All for 70 Euro. She threw in the chicken feet for free. They make great soup especially for arthritis.
We didn't need anything from the vegetable patch,
and we had plenty of water.
Mushrooms we had to collect ourselves. Here is the Fungi department. Location a closely guarded secret.
When looking for mushrooms one scans the ground for colour. We were after "girolles".
This fungus is the right colour but not edible to the best of my knowledge. It is an interesting life form though, going through three stages in its life. It flowers, the spores disperse emerge as tiny bugs which congregate, melt and merge, flower....etc.
These sponge mushrooms are edible but not plentiful or amazingly tasty so we let them be.
Gold! These are Chantrelles in English and what we were looking for. They do get bigger but at this size they are at their crunchy, peppery best.
After this first lot I got collectors fever and stopped snapping. An hour later we were on our way back with plenty for dinner. Never take more than you need.
Thanks for following our shopping, see you soon :-)