the omelette to end all omelettes

by Sharon Santoni

black truffles on white cloth and wood table

I have lived in France for nearly all my adult life.  I married into a family of great cooks, serious cooks who believe that food should be prepared with care and eaten slowly … I have been lucky to dine in some of the great restaurants of France, and have had some pretty amazing dishes, but this week, well this week I tasted something that took my breath away!

Let me set the scene … and there’s only one photo for this story so your imagination will have to do the hard work here.

We have friends who own and run one of the best restaurants in our valley.  They are both great cooks, each with their own specialities and both have trained with some of the big names in French cuisine.

They took the week off and invited us over one evening to their sweet country house, that was formerly his grandmothers childhood home.  A quiet evening, just them, their two daughters and my husband and I.

The stone house is small, low ceilings, narrow doors, stone floors, and huge fires burning in the kitchen and sitting room.  We settled down for our aperitif in the sitting room, and once our champagne glasses were full and plates of tiny delicious appetizers placed in front of us one of the daughters came into the room with a tray of eggs and a big metal bowl complete with balloon whisk.   “Combien d’œufs papa?”, she asked her dad how many eggs she should break.  The reply came that five would be more than enough.

I was mystified.   Normally food preparation would be done in the kitchen, not in between the champagne glasses in front of fire!   And five eggs for six people? strange! …. As the young girl broke the eggs into the big bowl I heard a “Mmmmm…”,  she smiled and held out the bowl for me to smell.   “We are preparing a treat for you this evening “.

As soon as leant towards the bowl I understood …. truffles!     The eggs had been kept in a glass jar for two days in the company of whole black truffles, and the very distinctive and delicious perfume of the truffles had been absorbed through the egg shell.

She started to beat the eggs with the huge whisk, then passed it to her sister, her mum and even to me.  Those five eggs were whisked for almost an hour while we chatted and sipped bubbles,  and slowly but surely they grew paler and foamier until they more than doubled in size.

Remy stoked up the fire and produced a wide deep frying pan on a five foot long handle.  He unwrapped a new slab of fresh butter, and cut it in half.  He then speared the demi-slab which must have been at least 4 ounces or 120 grams in weight and dropped it into the pan.  Can you hear me gasp?!

The pan held carefully above the flames, the butter soon began to melt and sing.   The same daughter emerged from the kitchen holding a small plate of … grated truffle!   “Tu peux y aller”, said her dad, and she slowly let the truffle shavings slide into the butter.

The pan returned to the flames and was gently swirled until the truffle was evenly dispersed.   “Maintenant les œufs”,  time to pour in the eggs.    The metal bowl was tipped, ever so gently, and the pale foaming egg mix slipped into the butter.

Now only a few minutes were required for the eggs to warm thoroughly and begin to cook on the outside of the soufflé omelette.  No wooden spoon or any other utensil was used, but the pan simply moved and occasionally given a sharp tap, causing the omelette to slide across part of the pan and flip its edge over towards the middle.  The small pieces of truffle stood out as dark flecks against the soft yellow eggs.

truffle omelette cooking over fire

There was a  sudden urgency to be seated at the table “You can’t make an omelette wait”,  and as we moved into the kitchen where warmed plates were waiting, the omelette was turned out on to a large serving platter and then simply divided between each plate.

Wine glasses filled, chunks of fresh baguette distributed and a religiously quiet table  as we each picked up our fork and cut our first mouthful of this amazing truffle soufflé omelette.

An evening in Normandy, a privilege.

photo of the truffles with thanks to google images



Karen February 13, 2016 - 2:52 pm

Oh my. Mmmmmm

Donna R February 13, 2016 - 3:01 pm

I feel as though I’m there….waiting for that first bite! Bon Apetite

Rosanna Clifford February 13, 2016 - 3:02 pm

Oh Sharon – how divine!!!! I can taste it and smell it!!! I first tasted truffle in Melbourne (Australia) about 6 years ago. It was in homemade creamy mushroom soup. It was so delicious that I can still imagine the flavour!!!

I LOVE YOUR BLOG – thank you so much.

Good wishes from Rosanna (Sydney, Australia)

Jacqui jackson February 13, 2016 - 3:03 pm

What a fantastic way not only to spend time with friends,but also a fabulous way to eat a meal. Don’t you just love a great evening like that. Amazing!!!

Donna Shaw February 13, 2016 - 3:10 pm

I’ve only tasted one thin slice of a black truffle and it was wonderful.

Pat February 13, 2016 - 3:11 pm

What a lovely evening. Thank you for sharing your delicious repast with us.

Sheri February 13, 2016 - 3:14 pm

You have a wonderful ability to transport us…..feels like I was the seventh guest!

barbara mckee February 13, 2016 - 3:42 pm

A few years ago I swore off making statements like “…and THAT is why the French are better than us”. One cannot change the cloudy ruminations of those who confuse ‘good life’ with patriotism. This was a great little tale. Well told. Merci. About 10 years ago here in sunny FLA/USA my husband and I were invited to lunch on a Saturday afternoon. The host, a local restauranteur and French. The hostess, an American girl educated in France, an art curator. This story is not about the omelet that we were served (scrumptious!). Our host, whom we had not met until that moment, wore a beautiful shirt under a stunning well-fitted sweater. No apron. I maintain to this day that those eggs were part of the greatest ever omelet because of the French attention to living well…and THAT is why the French are better than us.

Sharon Santoni February 13, 2016 - 4:02 pm

HI Barbara

Would you mind if I just add something to your comment 🙂 Thank you for your enthusiasm, and I agree that attention to detail is one of the things that the french do very well, but please never let it be said that I am putting the French up as better than anyone else … it’s just different.

If I lived in the States, or Iceland or Italy or wherever, then I’d find things to write about there too. It’s all about enjoying the moment,
have a lovely weekend

Diana February 15, 2016 - 3:56 am

And that is one of the reasons that your blog is so very appealing to me. You write from the heart and my heart needs that.

Thank you,

Anne Lantagne March 6, 2016 - 8:03 pm

Well said, Sharon. We are all citizens of God’s world:) There is beauty and uniqueness everywhere. I, too, live in Florida at the present time.

carol Transou February 13, 2016 - 3:52 pm

More than interesting – never heard of cooking this way – but what a beautiful way to entertain – with the simple eggs – the very rich and special truffles, and an open fire with fresh butter in the skillet. What kind of skillet ???? iron, copper, other metal?

I really want to try this – even cooking over the fire. And there is a man who is growing truffles in our general area — How many truffles for the 5 eggs??????

This is the most unusual recipe – and experience – ever. Want to copy it here in Tennessee.

Carol Preston February 13, 2016 - 3:52 pm

What a treat! I have never had a truffle, but I do buy truffle oil and truffle salt and love using them ina variety of ways. Sharon, your blog continues to get better and better! I love all of the surprises that you come up with like your book (I want an autographed copy) and your new videos (what a fabulous idea):-)

Fran February 13, 2016 - 3:58 pm

Sharon, because of your eloquence, I was able to imagine the evening so easily – must have been amazing to watch it all unfold and then to be able to taste it….ah…..yes, what an evening! The photo of the prepared souffle omelette was the icing on the cake – looked magnifique and made only with 5 eggs for 6 personnes?! WOW – he is a miracle worker. Lovely post- Thank You so much for sharing.

Madonna February 13, 2016 - 4:05 pm

Many thoughts – You certainly made a plate of eggs alluring. 🙂 Is that a million dollars worth of truffles in your first photo? You reminded me that Chef John says nothing say you don’t care about your guests if you don’t warm the plates. 🙂 I love that your friends are teaching their daughter to cook.

Our French Oasis February 13, 2016 - 4:13 pm

I love evenings like this, totally unexpected and something totally different, it must have been fabulous, it sounds fabulous just reading about it. Am going to show this to Roddy, he being the best cook in our family! He loves making omelettes, he loves something a little different, what fun and thank you. Have a lovely weekend, beautiful day here but we are being buffeted by 100 kph gusts of wind! Susan x

Stephanie from La. February 13, 2016 - 4:15 pm

My mouth waters!

Denise February 13, 2016 - 4:21 pm

Has a chef , love the way you describe the meal for us . I can close my eyes and imagine the smells, taste and how it must of seen.

Lindsay February 13, 2016 - 4:22 pm

thank you for that delicious description of the omelet. I could imagine it as you were writing about it, I went to French Culinary school 5 years ago and never learned to make omelets that way. I am going to try one of these days.

Lorrie February 13, 2016 - 4:26 pm

Pure delight – the setting, the conviviality, the fragrant omelette.

Pat Crowder February 13, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Thanks for taking me along Sharon, it was an incredible evening!

Lillian Plummer February 13, 2016 - 4:50 pm

That certainly is an omelette to end all omelettes! Must have been delicious, I would like to try that one day, need to find truffles first.

Susan Gabriel February 13, 2016 - 5:12 pm

Cher Sharon,
A great gift of a short story for Valentines weekend !!
. . . the best part being it is true.

*May your day be filled with the warmth of present loved ones
and fond memories of those we have loved in the past*

Susan Gabriel

Maywyn February 13, 2016 - 5:30 pm

Thank you for the beautiful description
I feel truffle hearts flowing out of every word I read.

Missy Klicka February 13, 2016 - 5:33 pm

What a wonderful time and a beautiful evening to share with each other, and such a special treat, for special friends!
Thanks for sharing,
I too love to tune in to your blog!

Patty February 13, 2016 - 5:46 pm

Beautifully written. This reminded me how often meals are prepared and eaten in such haste that you never even know what you are tasting. How important it is to slow down and enjoy your food, bite by bite and be grateful, appreciating what is before you.

Gill Body February 13, 2016 - 5:53 pm

Dear Sharon. Thank you for all the glimpses of French life. Your latest blog reminds me of an evening spent in the marais in Brittany. The duck (shot that afternoon) was cooked in a skillet on a huge open fire. There was a beautiful oak French bed (on stilts in case of flooding) next to the fireplace with a big fluffy duvet covering it, after the delicious meal I would have loved to curl up in it and sleep!!

Mary Scritsmier February 13, 2016 - 5:58 pm

Dear Sharon, I am new to your site…
My words cannot describe the feeling and emotions you just released in my heart.
Your words set me in a place so real, full of time honored traditions.
Food and a loving home… full of friends and family is truly God’s gift to us!!
Your post was a “Reflection Of The Way” I want to live my life.
Tears to my eyes… lovely!
Although I have never eaten truffles, omelettes have always been a favorite.
You have a beautiful gift, thank you for warming my heart on this cold winter’s day.
Seasonal Mary

Taste of France February 13, 2016 - 6:01 pm

Truffles and eggs are a perfect combination. We go to the local truffle market a couple of times during the season (December-February; the last market was a week ago). It’s high drama, with the truffle vendors lined up, their goods in quaint little baskets, wrapped in burlap bags that are tied shut. A rope keeps the crowd back. Here in Aude, the truffles get inspected (there are a lot of shady truffle deals for the unsuspecting–people getting sold rocks or almost-rotten ones. The truffles in the bags have been inspected. The inspector goes down the table, opening the bags. The mayor shoots a gun and the rope drops. The buyers surge forward because quantities are limited. For €20 or €30 you get a truffle big enough to perfume meals for a week. Pure heaven.

Nancy February 13, 2016 - 6:06 pm

What a privilege and a dinner! Amazing! My mouth was watering and I wanted a taste (and I am not fond of eggs, yet I believe these would have been amazing!)….
Wonderful writing! We need to enjoy our meals as much….

Maria February 13, 2016 - 6:08 pm

Mmmmmm I could almost taste the delicious food, thank you for another superb post!
Makes me want to go to France again!
Au revoir, until we meet again.

Colleen Taylor February 13, 2016 - 6:26 pm

Such a beautifully written and visual post Sharon! I can almost taste this divine dish from here. You are so lucky to have these talented friends! X

Carol Grenfell February 13, 2016 - 6:27 pm

I was salivating as I was reading, it was the setting, the process, the anticipation and the care involved not so much the end result which I can only imagine.

Debbie February 13, 2016 - 7:05 pm

Wow. Just perfect.

Susan ( February 13, 2016 - 7:22 pm

Oh, that sounds amazing! I can almost smell that truffle.

Susan February 13, 2016 - 8:10 pm

You painted a picture that I can taste…wonderful!

Emm February 13, 2016 - 8:20 pm

Oh, my.
Oh. My.
Lovely food, lovely writing. Thank you.

Jane February 13, 2016 - 8:42 pm

I love that you participated and watched. The French so appreciate their food and the process that it is considered entertainment and part of the experience. It certainly enhances my enjoyment of what I am eating. I loved whisking the eggs for an hour over champagne with your guests. And the daughter will be a good cook one day as well. Food has certainly been a binding tie with my siblings and family. Why not? It is such an important part of life. Your evening is my idea of a great and rich life!

joie lynn February 13, 2016 - 9:33 pm

The French know how to cook and eat well. I started salivating the minute I saw the “les truffes noir”. I have only had them once, but have had the “blanc” ones many times. The vision of the fire, the cooking of the omelet and the dinners is very clear and warm.

botanic bleu February 13, 2016 - 9:58 pm

My imagination was needed very little for you painted the whole scene with your wonderful way with words. Thank you for sharing both a taste of France and a French experience. These are the posts that transport us to other places and that allow us to glimpse another way of life.


Janner February 13, 2016 - 11:08 pm

That made me feel like I was there tasting and smelling this wonderful omelet! I was truly transported for a moment in time. Thanks and keep them coming!

Diana Ferguson February 14, 2016 - 12:13 am

Dear Sharon, that was such an interesting blog! I was especially interested in how the eggs had been kept in a jar along with the truffles for 2 days and also by how long they were beaten! I look forward to trying this out sometime in our home in the Perigord. I love evenings like this in France; we have enjoyed many such spécialités with our dear old neighbour, André…..thank you for giving such an eloquent and memorable account. You described it all perfectly. Diana x

Kathy From Memphis February 14, 2016 - 12:17 am

Sounds wonderful.

Vicky from Athens February 14, 2016 - 2:00 am

Sharon – what a wonderful post!! And what a wonderful casual, yet intimate supper! I got hungry just reading about it. My only experience with truffles came last May while in Annecy. I ordered a fondue … with truffles. It was so delicious and so rich. I ate until I could hardly get up and toddle back to my hotel. It was unforgettable.! Thanks for reminding me!

Ellie February 14, 2016 - 5:22 am

Hi Sharon, can’t believe someone would serve an omelet to guests for dinner…… How wonderful! Can you tell me how long I should cook the omelet (on the stove) and would I cook it on medium/low? Thanks for sharing your delightful evening with us.

JaneEllen February 14, 2016 - 5:55 am

Ah Sharon, reading your account of your special evening with special friends, how soothing. I would so love to meet you and experience how you live just for little while at least. How I would love to be able to take a tour with you and others. It would be such a special time for me, talk about meeting my bucket list, just one tour with you and seeing how you and French people live would be such a privilege to last me for rest of my life.
I have been so happy I found your blog, get to hear about life in France. To think you have lived there for most all your adult life, would love to hear your story of what went before and since. I love to hear people’s stories, they are all special and the lives they have lived are especially special. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. You help me keep my imagination alive just hearing about what it’s like there. I would love for my youngest daughter to be a subscriber to your blog as she dreamed of going to France in high school but we just don’t have that kind of money. She is almost 46 now and is encouraging her daughter in college to experience all she can and doing her best to make sure she can.
I think I might have told you about our grand daughter being an AuPair in Italy this summer and getting to go to Copenhagen at end of summer before she goes back to college. I am so proud of her and her sense of adventure in life.
Have a wonderful weekend dear lady. You have entranced me and think many other people that are fortunate enuf to read your blog posts.

Jeanie February 14, 2016 - 6:48 am

What a delightful evening, Sharon! Thank you for making it come alive for us

Rita de Cássia A C V Ribeiro February 14, 2016 - 9:47 am

Hi Sharon!

Congratulations on the way you portraited this remarkable evening with your friends!

Rita de Cássia
Belo Horizonte

Michelle Rudis February 14, 2016 - 3:59 pm

I just woke up and discovered your post in Bloglovin. Lovely description of a fun evening with friends, family and food. And of course, I’m craving a truffle soufflé’ omelet now 😉

Happy Valentines Day!

Alexis Gruninger February 14, 2016 - 6:19 pm

Lovely! Sounds so divine! And delicious!


Sally February 14, 2016 - 10:08 pm

Such pleasure is derived from a simple egg, but let’s not forget the truffles. I was sitting with you at that sublime meal.

suzana rose borlovan February 14, 2016 - 10:28 pm

oh how amazing and yet so simple, I will be trying it except a lot less butter x

Amy February 15, 2016 - 3:04 am

Such a lovely and sensual description. I think I need a cigarette.

Sabrina February 15, 2016 - 4:18 am

I have never had a truffle (but if they taste anything like their kin, I’m not sure I want to), nor am I fond of eggs, but the way you described the whole scene made me want a bite! Thanks!

Patti February 15, 2016 - 4:21 am

Oh, My goodness! Thank you for sharing – beautiful! Each moment seems to be enjoyed thoroughly –

Robin February 15, 2016 - 5:20 am

Oh my my, my mouth watered just reading your description of the omelette. I could picture it all in my mind. Merci beaucoup!!

noreen February 15, 2016 - 8:51 am

thank you Sharon, I enjoyed the evening of your special truffle souffle omelette!

Pam February 15, 2016 - 10:46 am

Hi Sharon!!

It’s funny, from the cracking of the egg, I was there behind you. Memorized with the whipping and then the truffle being added to the egg, cooking it right there on the fire! Sounds so wonderful having it with great friends!

Have a great week!


Patricia February 15, 2016 - 2:18 pm

I’ll have what she’s having!

Jess February 15, 2016 - 4:40 pm

Sharon, that sounds absolutely marvelous! I use black truffle olive oil at times in food and LOVE it.

Linda H. February 15, 2016 - 4:53 pm

What a beautiful lovely treat. Tenderly made and consumed. Lucky you

Victoria Savu February 15, 2016 - 9:01 pm

I have never tasted a truffle. I am sure I am missing out on a wonderful experience. Your post makes me desire to try them even more. And visualizing the perfect evening whipping eggs by a wood fire is wonderful. Good times with good friends. Thank you for your blog.

Stacy February 16, 2016 - 8:48 am

There is a difference between cooking a meal and a culinary experience. Indeed the truly important ingrdient to any flavorful gustatory creation is passion! To impart passion in any sojurn in life is the differnce between a chore and a calling. It includes not only skill but an understanding of every aspect of the experence.There are many who call others to the table to capture a moment as your host and hostess did. In the process they did fine tune a memory for you that you have been able to share with us and will keep with your heart forever. This is the magic of bringing good food, good wine, and more importantly, good people together to share the essence of a gift together. It is less about cultures and countries and so much more about the undeniable generosity of spirit that makes a lasting impression and reflects who we are and the magic we are capable of imparting to others.

Marilyn February 16, 2016 - 12:05 pm

Now I am drooling for this egg omelet! What a treat!

marcie February 16, 2016 - 3:08 pm

Cannot imagine. How wonderful. And proof that good entertaining is about people and good food. It can be so simple 🙂 We forget that so easily. Love this story so much.

Vida Snyder February 16, 2016 - 6:21 pm


ade February 16, 2016 - 7:11 pm

Mmmmm seems a fantastic omelette. Have you ever eaten fried eggs in butter and with a grated on fresh white truffles on top ? So many comments, but do you read it all ?!

Grace February 24, 2016 - 5:32 am

Your blog is my favorite!

Wendi Yates February 28, 2016 - 6:40 pm

Just a little post-script….I followed this technique last night, not 100%….I didn’t have the luxury of an hour plus additional arms!! But, I beat the eggs (2 eggs plus 2 tblsp of water) for a good 15-20 minutes as I waited for the mushrooms (cremini, oyster and button) to saute (in butter naturalement). Quel difference! C’est manifique! SVP, dit “Merci beaucoup” to your friend, Le Chef for this new approach to an old favorite.


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