Truffle hunting is such a wonderful experience for any food lover. Walking through an oak forest in the autumn, crisp leaves on the ground, a trained dog as your guide, you truly enjoy nature and the enjoyment that comes from finding your own food and digging it from the earth. The best part? Your prize is a sought after delicacy, adding immense flavor to any dish, enjoyed by world renowned chefs, vegetarians, and vegans alike.
Truffles are often called Black Gold, a nod to their rarity and value.
Every year, during the June harvesting season in Western Australia truffles are celebrated at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival. Joining them are beautiful wines and the freshest produce from the Manjimup region. The Truffle & Wine Co. in Manjimup is the largest producer of black truffles in the world, with 53 hectars of land. It is at this truffière that you can experience the thrill of truffle hunting!
Truffles grow under the earth, on the roots of old oak and hazelnut trees. They ripen underground, so dogs are specially trained to use their sense of smell and guide farmers to the truffles ready for harvesting, passing over the truffles that need more time to ripen. Originally pigs were used for this important task in Western Australia, as they are in Europe, but after eating too many truffles the job was given to dogs that could be especially trained to find them and be rewarded with less expensive treats. Truffles are often called Black Gold, a nod to their rarity and value. The truffle is so highly revered, it can sell at $95 per ounce ($2.50 /gram)!
Once found, the truffles are gently coaxed from the earth with a small metal spade, releasing them from the ground for chefs and gourmands around the world to enjoy!
SAILS & SPICES TIPS
If you can get your hands on some fresh truffles (ask around at your specialty grocers during truffle season), try these delicious ways to enjoy them!
- Store the truffle in a sealed jar with some fresh eggs for 1-3 days. This will infuse the yolk with the truffle aroma for scrumptious scrambled eggs
- Shave over a delicious mushroom risotto (After the 1-3 days stored with your eggs, transfer your truffle to a jar of arborio (risotto) rice for a few days to dry and preserve the truffle, while infusing their flavour into the rice)
- Try fresh shavings over pasta, pizza or even popcorn.
- Truffles will keep best for a short week if store bought, or 10-14 days if farm-fresh, but be sure to keep them cool and dry while storing.
Have you experienced a truly delectable black truffle recipe? Let us know below!