Truffle season in Canberra makes for some awesome paddock to plate experiences. If you’re a first-timer to the famed delicacy of the truffle, it can seem quite daunting. There are truffle hunts, truffle dogs – not too mention the burning question of the best way to eat truffles. Can you put one on a pizza? Let’s dig into black winter truffle season in the Canberra region and find out!
About the Truffle
Here are some quick facts you can share with your +1 on a truffle hunt: The black winter truffle is the fruiting body of an underground fungus that we’ve been noshing on since the Stone Age. The Greeks prized the truffle and the Romans feasted on them, while author Alexandre Dumas believed “to tell the story of the truffle is to tell the history of world civilisation”.
Truffles are grown in every state and territory of Australia except the NT. The truffles grow underground in increasing numbers and fruit in late spring, grow during the summer and autumn and mature with the onset of winter for harvest.
You Use a Dog to Harvest Truffles
There’s nothing quite like the serenity of a crisp winter morning following an experienced truffle dog in a quest to find the black winter truffle.
The dogs’ excitement for the hunt, and their reward when they find a truffle odour, is a unique sight. The dogs are the most important members of the hunt team. The harvesters rely on them to indicate where the mature truffles are. Once the dog has marked the spot, he or she is rewarded and the harvester then checks to make sure the truffle is ready to be harvested. The noses of the dogs have been trained to detect the level of aroma that tells them the truffle is ready.
You Can Hunt Here!
The truffle growers across the Canberra region love the thrill of the truffle hunt and welcome anyone to join them. Rug up this winter and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Canberra region’s truffle farms including Tarago, Turalla, Blue Frog and L’Air du Wombat. Watch the clever truffle dogs as they follow their noses and find the mysterious ‘black diamonds’ hidden under the trees. Learn everything you could ever want to know about truffles, enjoy some truffle tastings, and buy some fresh black winter truffle to take home.
Cooking with Truffles
If you’re an established culinary genius or a connoisseur of fine dining – or you just want to impress at a dinner party – truffle is a pretty flexible hero of the dish.
From truffle brie and truffle pizza, to truffle crème brulée and even truffle beer, there are so many ways to enjoy this unique and versatile ingredient.
The truffle can be used to enhance dishes as easily prepared as a simple pasta dish, mashed potato, scrambled eggs, warming winter soups as well as being taken to exciting gastronomic levels by chefs who infuse their magic in many different ways. Truffle goes well with soft cheeses, eggs, butter, cream, all mushrooms, pasta, rice, potatoes, artichokes, oysters, salmon, scallops and poultry.
Hit the Truffle Festival
Over the past 10 years, the Truffle Festival – Canberra Region has put the area on the map and the region is now considered a quality destination for a black winter truffle experience in Australia.
From June through to August the truffle growers in the Canberra region band together to promote their latest season of black winter truffles. Each year the festival has gone from strength to strength, with a growing variety of venues becoming involved. It now includes cooking schools, markets, wineries, breweries, cafes, restaurants and of course the truffle growers themselves all putting on a range of delicious truffle experiences. The festival also highlights the skill of the local chefs who are now much more experienced in using fresh truffle throughout their menus.