Five unique ways to indulge your love of truffles this winter
With their seductive aroma and exotic reputation, truffles are a staple on fine dining restaurant menus around the world. Traditionally, truffles have thrived in the Mediterranean regions of Italy and France but since truffles were first farmed in Australia in the 1990s, the local industry has boomed.
Australia is now the fourth-largest producer of truffles in the world and exports three-quarters of its crop. With the peak harvesting season upon us, there are plenty of unique ways for you to get your truffle fix.
Join a truffle hunt
Many truffle farmers have been opening their gates each winter to give people the chance to learn more about where truffles come from. Your guide will explain the role of the truffle dog as they follow the aroma and indicate where they think truffles will be found. You then get to watch the harvesting process and and smell the heavenly scent of freshly harvested truffle.
If searching for truffles isn’t your thing, you can still learn more about them at The Truffle Festival in Canberra. The region is ideal for truffles thanks to its cool winters and hot summers. The festival promotes a variety of restaurants that feature local black truffle on the menu throughout the winter season as well as cooking schools to learn how to make your own restaurant inspired truffle dishes.
Cook your own
An addition of truffles to any dish enhances the flavour however if you don’t consider yourself Heston Blumenthal in the kitchen, don’t be put off. Truffles are at their best with simple ingredients like potato, pasta or eggs. Grate a small amount on mashed potato, on a simple pasta dish or in scrambled eggs. To further enhance the flavour, store your truffle with eggs for a few days and that tantalising aroma will infuse with the yolk.
Try truffle ice cream
The aroma of truffles clings to fatty substances like egg yolks and cream, which means truffle ice-cream is one unexpectedly delicious result. Madame Truffles is open in Sydney and Melbourne during winter, and conjured up the ice cream. It’s become very popular according to Emma Sainsbury: “A lot of people say it tastes like vanilla but it has no vanilla in it. It just seems to impart that flavour with a truffle aftertaste.”
According to Wayne Haslam from Blue Frog Truffles, alcohol is another substance that is enhanced by truffles. “Use a microplane to grate truffle into a bottle of vodka or gin and you’ve got an exotic drink,” he advises. Cheers to that!