The Lore of Folk Music in Canada

“On most spare weekends for the past seven years, Mrs. Fowke has loaded a portable tape recorder and a bottle of whisky (an essential ice-breaker) into her battered Peugeot and driven through the farmlands of southern and central Ontario hunting for old singers and older songs. She’s found plenty. Since 1957 she’s taped about a […]

Canada by Armchair

Everyone at Trufflepig has some kind of connection to Canada, whether they were born here, moved here, or just visit the HQ every other winter and discover that what passes for an overcoat in other countries doesn’t really cut it in an Ontario blizzard. Below is a very short list of books that have informed […]

The New Colossus

I spent a lot of time in China in the early 2000’s, trying to make up for an overly euro-centric upbringing. I knew there was a world I’d overlooked, and hadn’t been taught about in school, a missing hemisphere. I’d read books like Ernst Gombrich’s History of Art which ignored the “East” side of the […]

The cultured pearl of Clayoquot Sound

Fans of fermentation know that, undisturbed and with the right food and environmental conditions, wild yeast will thrive and create magic. Through history one could say that humans have behaved in a similar fashion. Geomancers and lovers of ley lines can surmise why a particular time and place gives rise to cultural richness to rival […]

The Yukon 1000

I once paddled a canoe 1000 miles in 7 days, 15 hours, and 50 minutes. Let me explain. A few years ago a good friend called me up and asked me if I would like to paddle the Yukon River with him. My friend Jon works in human rights advocacy and wanted to raise some […]

The Weber Wonderland of Arctic Watch

[This article was originally published 27 November 2019] As I sit here writing this, winter has just begun to take hold in Southern Ontario. Meanwhile, on Somerset Island, 3400 kilometres as the crow flies from where I sit, the tundra and the northwest passage have been in winter’s grip for months. Way up in Northern Nunavut, perched […]

Oh, Ontario

On our honeymoon, my husband and I drove 13,000km across Canada. It was then that we dubbed Ontario ‘the province that never ends’. Three times the size of my native Germany (with a fraction of the population), it literally takes 24 hours to drive our home province end-to-end. And that’s in fair weather, I might […]

Conde Nast Travel Specialists: Trufflepig’s Magnificent 7

Last week Conde Nast Traveler released its annual Travel Specialists list, kind of like the Oscars of the travel world. And with another record-breaking 7 Trufflepig planners with their names in lights (again), we feel more than usually justified in describing ourselves as the Tiny Company with the Great Big Nose. We are of course […]

Taliban Cheese from Corsican Hill Country

When Conde Nast wanted to call Michael to congratulate him for making their global list of Travel Specialists (again), they found his telephone curiously out of range (again). And that’s because Michael’s a man who jumps at an opportunity, as his travels during this Covid year have shown us. While the rest of us responded […]

Pointer-Middle-Ring

Over the past few years a symbol has made the leap from movie into life. It is a salute with three fingers held high: pointer-middle-ring.  It came from The Hunger Games, the series written by Suzanne Collins.  Both a book and movie franchise, it is a tale following the life of Katniss Everdeen. Her name […]

In the Name of Nebbiolo

Remember dinner parties? The ever-gracious host. The ebullient storyteller who commandeers the conversation. The witty chap in a blazer – a date on his arm and a quip on his lips. The elegant lady in a well-tailored dress which flatters but doesn’t reveal. Her kid sister with a contagious laugh and plummeting neckline. Sigh. It’s […]

La Tournée des Grands Ducs

La Tournée des Grands Ducs (literally, The Tour of the Grand Dukes) is a common saying in France to refer to painting the town red, Dionysian style, or rather … Russian. The term has it roots in the habits of two Grand Dukes of Russia – Vladimir and Alexei –  the mischievous sons of Emperor […]

Get Back – 15 ways my heart aches for Andalucia

Something’s afoot in Andalucía, Spain’s deep south.  First it started with the discovery of an Almohad-era Muslim Hammam in one of Sevilla’s most iconic tapas bars.  Then, just last week in the nearby town of Utrera, reports came in that archeologists had unearthed one of the largest and best preserved medieval Jewish synagogues in the […]

The Man with the Donkey

Last November between lockdowns, I made it down to Turkey for a glorious trip accentuated by a moment of pure serendipity. Making my way down the Aegean coast, I was in touch with a friend back home, and let him know I was headed to the Troy/Gallipoli area, known as Çanakkale – a place I’d […]