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It’s the season for the most rare and decadent ingredient in the culinary scene. Running from June to September, like most things that are highly coveted, Australian Black Truffles come with a price tag. Often referred to as “black diamonds”, they’re retailing for $3,000/kilogram and have been labelled the most expensive ingredient in the world.
With 160 truffiéres in Australia, the country produces approximately 20,000 kilograms each year, with 75% being exported to the international market. We’re the fourth biggest producer of the highly sought-after ingredient in the world behind Spain, Italy and France.
Truffles like warm summers and frosty winters, which is why Tasmania and Victoria are optimal for truffle growing. Additionally, the small town of Manjimup near the southern tip of Western Australia are touted for their truffles.
Truffles are a natural glutamate, meaning they’re packed with umami goodness. To say they taste “mushroomy” is an understatement. With a fungi back note, they’re layered with flavours of blue cheese and garlic to produce a complex savoury experience. On the nose, they’re trademark aroma is a pungent, earthy and musky scent with an overall “funk”.
The truffles you will find on our farms and in our restaurants are likely Black Périgord Truffles, an introduced variety from Europe. In the most luxurious settings, you might come across the Italian White Truffle. With a more delicate flavour, Australia is yet to produce this species. Whether white or black truffles, they’re perfectly paired with rich and creamy flavours. Think scrambled eggs, pasta, risotto, lobster and of course beef.
Spotted in Australia’s best restaurants, some of our favourite chefs are showcasing Truffle on their seasonal menus. Head Chef at Lotus in Potts Point, Sam Young is capitalising on the short-lived season shaving it on our Westholme Wagyu, as well as the restaurant’s highly snapped Dashi Butter Tagliatelle. While Head Chef at Mimi’s in Coogee, Jordan Loft has a dedicated menu titled “Live and Truffle”. Some highlights include his Black Truffle Tart with Dried Porcini Supreme Sauce and Baked Truffle Canowindra Chicken with Sauce Périgord.
Our very own Chief Artisan Charcutier, Romeo Baudouin and the team at Cook & Sons have also been experimenting with a bespoke charcuterie range laced with truffle this season. Available for pre-order only, think Aylesbury Duck and Truffle Terrine, Pork, Chervil and Truffle Sausages, Duck Liver, Cognac and Truffle and Chicken Liver and Truffle Parfait with Truffle, to name a few.