What to Eat in France: Truffade, or Potato, Bacon and Cheese Melt
I don’t want to disappoint you, but truffade doesn’t contain truffles. It’s a specialty of Auvergne, and “truffade” which simply means “a potato dish” in the local dialect.
This dish was traditionally prepared by shepherds, who went into the mountains for months at a time to live in cheesemaking chalets called burons. It is traditionally made with fresh (i.e. not aged) Cantal cheese, but different cheeses are used in different villages, depending on the local cheese available.
Truffade is usually eaten with a green salad and sometimes with local country ham.
These are U.S. measurements. Click here for metric and British conversions.
2 lbs. firm potatoes
7 oz. smoked bacon, diced
2 T. cooking oil
14 oz. fresh Cantal cheese, cut into small cubes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley, chopped finely
- Wash and peel potatoes. Slice thinly.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add bacon bits, stirring for 2 minutes.
- Add potatoes and sautée on low heat, stirring from time to time. Salt and pepper. They should take about 15 minutes to cook.
- In the meantime, prepare a vinaigrette for the green salad, mixing the garlic into the vinaigrette.
- When potatoes are cooked, add cheese. Mix until cheese melts and forms strings. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Flatten the potato and cheese mixture into the shape of an omelet. Turn up heat and continue cooking until the edges are golden all around.
- Flip truffade onto a plate with golden side upwards, like you do for a pancake.
- Toss the salad and serve with the hot truffade.
I grew up on Wendell Berry and food straight from a backyard Kentucky garden. I live in France and Switzerland, and am a freelance writer specializing in French cuisine. I attended Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris and the Académie du Vin, worked for the GaultMillau restaurant guide and CityGuides in France and Paris and for Gannett Company in the U.S., and collaborated on Le tour du monde en 80 pains / Around the World with 80 Breads with Jean-Philippe de Tonnac in France; André Raboud, Sculptures 2002-2009 in Switzerland; Ma Cuisine Méditerranéenne with Christophe Certain in France; At the Table: Food and Family around the World with Ken Albala, and a biography of French chef Pierre Gagnaire. I ran a cooking school in France, and owned a farm-to-table restaurant, The Three Sisters’ Café, with my two sisters in the U.S. I organize the Taste Unlocked bespoke food and wine tasting awareness workshops with James Flewellen, am an active member of Slow Food, and run the food writing website The Rambling Epicure. My work has been published in numerous international publications and I have been interviewed on international public radio in France, Switzerland, and the U.S. I just signed on at In Search of Taste, a British print publication, and am now working on two books, The French and What They Eat and What to Eat in Venice.