As many of you know, Les Pastras is the name of our property, which produces organic fruit, olive oil and black truffles. Though we both have real jobs (his much more real than mine, as mine involves working part-time from home), our real passion is the land. Since the retirement of our dear Gerard, who worked on the property for 35 years, its upkeep has fallen to us. We are now the proud owners of a tractor, which makes us real farmers in my book, even if only hobby farmers. And in the last 3 years, we’ve cleared fields and planted more than 400 trees. Not bad for a boy born in Paris and an indoorsy girl from the Midwest, wouldn’t you say?
As we work toward making the transition from backbreaking weekend pastime to lucrative business, it occurred to us that we needed a web site. It also occurred to us, during our conversations with truffle enthusiasts, that there is a real market for truffle-hunting tours. Truffles are a business that tourists would ordinarily never get a glimpse of, unless they were at a truffle market and had their wallets open wide. And it seems that there is a real fascination for how they’re cultivated, how the dogs are trained and how to tell a real Provençal black truffle from its inferior Chinese and Italian counterparts.
So we are now officially in the tourism business and will be conducting truffle- hunting tours December through March. And for guests who want to make a day of it, a traditional Provençal lunch with all the wine you can drink is also available. The menu is based on years of research (read: throwing dinner parties) and features my friends’ favorite recipes, all of which are based on originals taught to me by Johann’s grandmother. If you have friends visiting Provence, I hope you’ll send them our way. We’ll have a bottle of Champagne chilling!
Please visit our site! www.lespastras.com