Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hunting the truffle

One of the ultimate food experiences would have be eating truffles. Once smelt and enjoyed they are unforgettable. There are both black and white truffles, the latter principally from the Alba region of Italy. However, black truffles are also grown in Australia and are beginning to get some critical mass.

The good news is that not living in Europe is therefore no longer a barrier to hunting the mysterious black diamond. Imagine plucking one of these prized fungi from the earth and inhaling that evocative aroma.
The truffle industry in Australia in certainly burgeoning, however truffles have been successfully grown in all Australian states – but they can take up to 10 years to grow. What a long and tantalising wait. If you are interested in growing your own or want more info about the Australian industry click here.

To experience first-hand the joys of the truffle hunting, a number of farms around Australia offer hunting. And if you have a spare weekend in June, July, August or September why not indulge.

Here are some suggestions:

Urban Graze at Millthorpe, fifteen minutes from Orange offers truffle weekend packages that include accommodation, the hunt, a gourmet truffle dinner as well as high tea. Click here for more information.

*Rosewood Trufferie & Perigord Truffles in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales has 1,000 truffle bearing oak and hazelnut trees and offer limited hunting experiences with lunch each Sunday between July and September. Send an email to register your interest.

Manjimup Truffle Farm is the largest truffle producer in the southern hemisphere and they make wine too! Located 300km from Perth in the south-west corner of Western Australia, their hunts are hosted by a truffle master and include wine tasting. Stay on for lunch at their gourmet café and take home a keepsake such as truffle oil, truffle honey or truffle salt. Click here for more information.

Truffles Australis is the home of Australia’s first black truffle and is located 9km from Deloraine in Tasmania’s north. They offer hands on tours all year round and hunts in season, from June until September. Click here for more information.

Enjoy and remember that unfortunately finders doesn’t mean keepers.

*Update … I’m going truffling in the Southern Highlands with Rosewood Trufferie & Perigord Truffles in early July and will report back!

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