Posted by: kathandroger | November 14, 2009

Cep hunting

It constantly amazes me that the French are so knowledgable about their environment, particularly about food that grows wild. In particular, how do they all seem to have an inbuilt encyclopaedia of  ‘champignons’? How come we Brits (in the vast majority of cases – I wouldn’t want to generalise!) haven’t got a clue about anything that doesn’t come in a blue plastic tub with Tesco on the label? We are probably more in the latter camp, but aspire to be able to wander through the forest bagging delicious fungi to serve up with a dash of butter and garlic for supper.

Today we went to the beautiful town of Loches, first to the fabulous market (a must for any visitor to the area). Inspired by the baskets of mixed fungi on sale – including a great pile of ceps on one stall, we then headed off to the Foret de Loches, which is totally open to the public to wander around and mushroom hunt. Boudie was in her element too, sniffing her way around the undergrowth for an hour and a half while we grubbed around, uncovering all sorts of things we thought we recognised, but just weren’t quite sure. The margin between a tasty treat and a very nasty stomach upset – and worse – seems very fine. The book we have is so comprehensive that is serves only to confuse. A little disappointed we decided to call it a day and had almost got back to the car when I spotted something by the side of the path…..


…which was subsequently confirmed as a very tasty Cep de Bordeaux by our friends Gerard and Michelle. We shall find out just how tasty later this evening!

We also learned from Gerard (who killed, plucked and cleaned 12 chickens in 3 hours last week) that we should have dipped our chickens in boiling water before plucking them. According to him you can then pluck a chicken in 3 minutes, instead of the 30 minutes it took me! We have 3 guinea fowl left to do so will try out the new technique on them… bet it still takes me a lot more than 3 minutes though!


  1. Love the blog!!!

    Poor chickens!!

    Joe had an excellent game today against Nottingham today in a 24-3 win. Roll on England next week

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