To celebrate this magical season, here are some fascinating facts about the truffles you can taste in Canberra:
Did you know truffles are the fruiting body of an underground fungus?
Much like an underground mushroom, truffles have spores and form a mutually beneficial or symbiotic relationship with a host tree.
Truffles are a glutamate
“Truffles are a glutamate, hence their added ability to enhance flavour.” – Wayne Haslam, Blue Frog Truffles
Truffles go really well in sweet dishes
“Most people don't realise that black truffles go really well in sweet dishes where they take on a cocoa vanilla flavour, especially with any desserts containing dairy and eggs.” – Rodney Dunn, The Agrarian Kitchen
There are thousands of native truffles in Australia
“There are thousands of native truffles in Australia but few are of culinary value.” – Wayne Haslam, Blue Frog Truffles
Black Winter Truffle
The most prized species of Australian native truffles in culinary circles is the Black Winter Truffle also known as Perigord Truffle. These grow best with host trees like oaks and hazelnuts.
80 native species
“The Canberra region is home to more than 80 native species of native truffle.” – Wayne Haslam, Blue Frog Truffles
Truffles require the ground temperatures to drop
“Interestingly, truffles require the ground temperatures to drop to a certain level a number of times just before they ripen. In our region this temperature drop results from frosts and about six decent frosts are necessary to really bring the truffles to maturity.” – Christine and Allan, Pankhurst Wines
Truffles give the tree nutrients from the soil
The truffles give the tree nutrients from the soil and in return receive sugars to help with growth. Truffle spores are spread when animals that can smell the aroma dig up and eat the fruiting body.
No recorded allergy
“There has never been a recorded allergy to truffles.” – Wayne Haslam, Blue Frog Truffles
Truffles mature over the 12 weeks
The truffles mature over the 12 weeks of Australia’s winter but only remain fresh in the ground for 12 days. Finding the right truffle and digging it up is all about the timing – and a good truffle dogs’ nose.
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