Love it or hate it, this elusive and coveted condiment is one of the most valuable ingredients in the culinary world. Discover where to hunt for the best Australian truffles.
With a flavour that is robust, earthy and purely decadent, truffles are used in a variety of dishes from creamy risotto to fancy fries and even gin!
Australia’s first ‘black diamonds’ were harvested in 1999 from a farm in Tasmania. Three decades on, Australia’s truffle industry is booming, with an entire calendar of events celebrating the truffle season Down Under.
Most events are a leisurely few hours in gorgeous countryside in seek of the prized product. Though for something a little more decadent, Beneath the Surface in Western Australia is a five-day foodie experience to delve into. With Australian truffles, pinot wine and some of the WA’s freshest produce from Pemberton plus luxe accommodation and even a private chef on hand.
If you’re looking to get your hands dirty, here some of the best truffle hunting experiences in the country.
Truffle Hill, WA
The Manjimup region of Western Australia produces the majority of Australia’s Perigord truffles – around 80 to 90 per cent. Explore the area’s first truffière, Truffle Hill, with veteran hunter Adrian Mielke and his canine companions.
Adrian will regale you with the history of Australian truffles as you attempt to sniff out these earthy delights. After your hunt, you’ll indulge in a truffle tasting complemented by Truffle Hill wines.
The decision to start a winery was inspired by tales of truffle farmers in France who would plant vineyards to protect their precious crop from thieves. What’s more, you can purchase a range of truffle-infused goodies from the truffière to transform your home cooking.
The Truffle Farm, TAS
The home of Australia’s first black truffle, a visit to this Tasmanian farm is worthwhile for the scenery alone. But gourmands will truly go wild for the two-hour ‘Truffle Hunting and Lunch’ package.
Get the dirt on Australian truffles as you hunt for a rare black variety. Then, enjoy a generous tasting and grading demonstration followed by a farm style lunch platter with local produce and wines.
Or perhaps the ‘Winter Warmer Hunt’ is more your style. You’ll unearth truffles with your own hands before gathering beside a crackling fire, Tasmanian wine or beer in hand. Refuel with a fresh truffle pizza and a tasting of the farm’s signature products.
Black Cat Truffles, VIC
In the central Victorian Highlands you’ll meet the charming and talented truffle-sniffing dogs, Winston and Lottie. They’re part of the family at Black Cat Truffles, searching for the delicacies alongside owners Kristen Simpson and Tom Eadie.
On winter weekends, guests can enjoy morning tea followed by an introductory talk about the art of truffle farming. After foraging, return to the cosy on-site cafe for a glass of bubbles and degustation. Taste creamy French cheese, soup, pasta and indulgent desserts – all with a generous grating of Australian truffles!
For a casual Saturday afternoon foray, you can enjoy hunting followed by truffle-laden gourmet pizza and crispy fries. Wash it all down with locally-sourced wine, craft beer and apple cider.
Robertson Truffles, NSW
In 2014, a truffle found on this NSW farm set the record for the largest Australian truffle ever found, weighing in at a whopping 1.172 kilograms.
While the record has since been broken, the legend lives on at Robertson Truffles. In the picturesque Southern Highlands region, this delightfully rustic gourmet experience is as authentic as it gets.
Warm up beside the fire pit before joining in on the daily truffle harvest. It’s not a staged truffle hunt, so the farmers will be just as excited as you are when you uncover these ‘black diamonds’ of the culinary world.
The Truffle Farm Canberra, ACT
For fine-dining with fungal flair, look no further than The Truffle Farm Canberra. Overlooking stunning vineyards just 15 minutes from the capital, a visit to the farm will see you embark on an interactive truffle hunt, accompanied by a six-course degustation.
Executive chef Damian Brabender plates up elegant local dishes infused with the distinct flavour of Australian truffles.
And he’s not alone. Last year, Table by Canberra Gourmet moved location to The Truffle Farm. This beloved event offers an intimate chef’s table degustation with dishes like truffle-cured tuna with feta, black garlic and green peas. A truly priceless gourmet experience.
Feature image Ⓒ Vincent Dörig / Unsplash
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