Last Chance: where to hunt and eat truffles in NSW this month.
The black or Perigold truffle is a delicious mushroom grown around NSW and is harvested from late June through August (although the season varies year to year, and can start in late May and finish in September). The delicacy can be shaved onto dishes or used to make truffle oil, which can be added to dishes as varied as scrambled eggs to mac and cheese. They grow in the Southern Highlands, the Blue Mountains, Snowy Mountains and Central NSW – regions with hot Summers and cold, frosty Winters. They grow attached to the roots of oak and hazel trees and give off a strong scent which trained dogs are able to sniff out and find.
Where to hunt for truffles in NSW
· Tarago Truffles is a farm in the Southern Tablelands, less than three hours from Sydney. They offer a hands-on truffle hunt with their truffle dogs, Dusty and Joker, as well as fresh truffle to buy on the day. Every Saturday in August. https://taragotruffles763612067.wordpress.com/truffle-hunts/
· Located near Sutton, Blue Frog Truffle Farm will hold Sunday hunts on 4 and 11 August, with kids under 15 free. Learn about truffle growing and the Australian industry while you hunt and you’ll be able to taste them at the end. https://bluefrogtruffles.com.au/
· L’Air Du Wombat is a pretty 100-acre farm on the banks of the Shoalhaven River near Oallen. They offer Saturday and Sunday hunts throughout August, which includes refreshments afterwards. https://trufflehunting.com.au/hunt-with-us/
· If you need to hunt on a full stomach, the Macenmist Truffle Hunt and Brunch is a good option, located just outside of Bredbo. Start with truffle-infused eggs then head out with the romagnolo lagotto dogs to hunt, then clean, weigh and grade the haul. https://www.macenmist.com.au/hunts/brunch/
· Join a tour of the Alpine Truffle and Chesnut Farm for a truffle hunt and fireside brunch, leaving from Nest Café in Tumbarumba on 10 August. https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/truffle-hunt-chestnut-farm-tour-winter-mountain-adventure-2019-tickets-61980815287
· Look out for the Black Tie and Gumboot Truffle next year – held at the end of June/beginning of July at Borrodell winery in Orange, it’s one of the more fabulous events of the season. Guests don their finery and sensible shoes, hunt for truffles, then sit down to a lavish five-course feast.
Where to eat truffles in Sydney
· Madame Truffles is holding a pop-up until mid-August, selling truffles that are harvested fresh each week, as well as truffle salt, honey, butter and more at Handpicked Cellar Door (https://www.handpickedwines.com.au/the-ultimate-truffle-masterclass-w-madame-truffles-pop-up).
· Kitchen by Mike (https://www.kitchenbymike.com.au/vegetarian-truffle-dinner) is offering a hearty five-course vegetarian truffle menu at his CBD restaurant until 17 August, which includes a twice-baked goat’s cheese soufflé and a crème brûlée infused with the delicious fungi.
· New Shanghai (https://www.newshanghai.com.au/truffle-season) serves modern Shanghai-style cuisine and during Winter they’ll be serving a number of truffle dishes in the Pitt Street and Chatswood locations. Choose from truffle xiao long bao, fried rice with shaved truffle and truffle and mushroom wonton soup.
· Devon Café (http://www.devoncafe.com.au/truffle-menu) is known for their creative breakfasts inspired by Japanese flavours, and this Winter they are serving an entire truffle menu – think curly fries, with parmesan, salted egg yolk and truffle or truffle soft serve in a waffle cone with frosted corn flakes and fresh truffle.
· Gather five friends and book a six-course truffle degustation at Gantry (https://www.thegantry.com.au/whatson/), a hatted restaurant in Walsh Bay, with dishes such as goose liver parfait and truffle linguine with parmesan.
· Mode Kitchen and Bar (https://modekitchenandbar.com.au/trufflewinedinner/) is hosting a four-course truffle and wine dinner on 15 August, highlights include venison tartare, yolk jam, crispy shallot and truffle. Each dish will include a matched wine.
Text and photos courtesy of DestinationNSW.