Let the below act as inspiration for some truffle pairings both traditional and unique, to be tried at home or discovered at an event.
When smoky bacon (the ultimate flavour enhancer) meets truffles (known for elevating dishes), expect big things. Pialligo Estate will hero both flavours in pleasing and unexpected ways at a variety of events throughout the season.
In the wise words of Damian Robinson from Turalla Truffles, “Now is the time to get out and smell the fresh air… and the truffle”. Take part in a truffle hunt at his farm or L’air Du Wombat, Durran Durra and Macenmist. After you’ve followed the truffe dogs on their hunt to sniff out brunch, replenish your energy with a super light French-style crepe served with bananas fried in truffle butter, along with truffled custard or ice cream. Bon appetit!
Europe is the home of truffles, and we can defer to their traditional dishes to act as a guide on how these flavours can work together. An Italian raw beef carpaccio or a French tournedos rossini (foie gras & steak) are both enhanced with black truffle shaved over top, bringing out the umami, full-flavour of the beef. One rule stands – fresh-from-the-farm is best. Book your truffle hunt today.
As established above, truffles & beef are a heavenly match, and beer & beef are a tale as old as time. By extension, beer & truffles can be an excellent introduction into the world of truffles. Bentspoke Brewery have taken out their middleman by developing their Silverback winter beer, infused with kumquats, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg and truffles. Add in a steak and you’ve got a complete, malty, bold, meal.
The marriage between two strong flavours – blue cheese and truffles – is a novel culinary pairing. Try truffled honey drizzled over a blue cheese on a cracker for an afternoon tea snack, as the dominant blue cheese flavour is subdued and complimented by the truffles.
According to Wayne Haslam from Blue Frog Truffles, “Everyone must keep a log of truffled butter in the freezer during the truffle season to melt over everything.” A simple dish and one often forgotten is the truffled toastie filled with your own favourite filling, but spread with truffled butter on the outside. It’s the ultimate comfort food.
If truffles are the king of winter produce, then cauliflower is surely queen. A cauliflower risotto already presents several of the signature flavours of a truffle – musky, earthy and well paired with bold spicy flavours; the addition of shaved truffle serves to emphasise the subtle sweetness of the dish. Add truffles to your weekly shop by hitting up the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets.
The simplest of truffle dishes – truffle eggs – can lead to the most delicious results. Place your eggs in a sealed container with your fresh truffle and let osmosis do the work for you. After a day or two, the yolk will have been imbued with the flavour and perfume of the truffle, and can bring a new take to omelette, scrambled or fried eggs. Double down on the truffles by shaving some over the end product.
Umami miso has an affinity with the woodier notes of truffles. Local star of Canberra’s culinary scene Akiba brings a Canberra Region Truffle Festival special to their restaurant with their miso with truffle and spring onion soup.
The best thing about embracing the chill after a truffle hunt, is warming up with a bowl of soup. Even the humblest of soups can be pepped up with the simple addition of some shaved truffle. A salty broth or a creamy and sweet soup are enhanced with the truffle’s earthy flavours.
The classic French onion soup is ideal: Stew quality onions in a tasty homemade stock and white wine, and accompany with shredded cheese and croûton, or pop into Le Tres Bon in Bungendore, where it’s on the menu.
“Truffle’s epicurean qualities are exalted in combination with other ingredients – the marriage of vanilla and truffle is sublime, exotic and ethereal” says chef Christophe Gregoire of Le Tres Bon in Bungendore. One comes from the heat of the tropics, one come from the depths of winter soil, and when combined in cuisine, magic is bound to happen. He uses it to make truffled snow eggs, a sweet delicacy of meringue and custard.
Nothing pairs with earthy truffle like a drop of local cool climate Canberra wine. The crew at Contentious Character will bring the two together at their annual Truffle Gala Dinner, Saturday 1 August. Expect all things truffled, with drinks and canapés on arrival and a special tasting tour, followed by a three-course indulgent truffle dinner with paired wines. Wayne from Blue Frog will also be there to talk through the season's up and downs, and explain everything you ever wanted to know about truffle.
Explore these pairings and come up with your own. Experiment with asparagus, garlic, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, shellfish, chicken, artichoke, potatoes – we love to see how you use your Canberra Region Truffle Festival experience to be creative in the kitchen.