mission MUSE: "where i live"
by guest muse andrée
To share with you just some of my impressions of the Périgord Noir, I chose to describe it through the five senses and through texture. I'm sure that if you visit, you will not be disappointed!
...the breeze caressing branches of century old oaks, sparrows chirping to wake the world, a dog barks far away on another hill. It is early morning...hold your breath and you can listen to the details of tranquility...it is the resonant peace and quiet of nature.
...if your eyes are not already saturated with the natural beauty of the Périgord Noir region: it's undulating hills, mixing dark forests and bright green fields, or the rich valleys sweeping down towards the Dordogne and Vézère rivers, then they will be by the architecture.
Impressive, elegant, graphic, useful and timeless are all adjectives my eyes register as I scan the roof tops of the Périgord Noir.
"Lauze", the heavy flagstone used for roofs, like giant thick scallop shells with its' rough surface and edges, assembled together take on a dignified appearance.
...the Earth or "terroire" as the French say, with a simple fungi more commonly know of as truffles.
The odour of truffles is very subtle, not overpowering or pungent, but almost rather fragile. Inhale the scent and you breathe in the rich earth from whence it came.
Truffles are used in cuisine for paté, foie gras, to infuse oil or just fresh. The locals like to place them overnight in an airtight container with a couple of eggs, so that the truffles' aroma permeates the egg-shell.
The next day: a savory omelette is enjoyed with shavings of the truffle itself. Et voilà!
...not just the infamous "foie gras" (goose or duck liver) but the region's walnuts. Périgord Noirs' four varieties of walnuts have their own AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) or "designation of origin."
Bite into a slightly bitter fresh "green" nut off the tree, or savour the more classical dried variety. Drizzle golden nut oil over fresh steamed green beans, or toast to your friends' health with a "Vin de Noix" appéritif drink.
...the relatively smooth stone: it feels soft under your finger tips, its warm golden color (a hallmark of the Périgord Noir), betrays its' strength.