Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, the French novelist known simply as Colette, died on this date in 1954. She was the source of scandal, mostly for having an affair with her teenaged step-son. Yet, when she died, she became the first French woman granted an official state funeral. The author of the novel Gigi loved truffles — underground mushrooms whose delicate fragrance and flavor are prized by gourmands. And she was particular about how they were prepared.
Truffles, she wrote, were to be steeped in dry white wine. Don't use champagne, she noted, because the truffle does very well without it. As for seasoning truffles, she instructed cooks to add just a little salt and pepper. "No other spices whatsoever!" she insisted.