Who loves truffles? I was recently lucky enough to spend the day truffle hunting down at Ganyemede Truffle Farm, in the southern tablelands of NSW, less than 2 hours from Sydney.
I had the most wonderful experience I just had to share it with you, along with some of the awesome truffle tips I learnt from our hosts!
The day started with a tour of the farm, followed by a truffle hunt! Many people know it takes around 7 years before truffles will be properly produced under trees, however they can be tough to find! At Gamyemede, there are three types of trees which have been planted for the truffles to grow under; Hazelnut, French oak and Holy oak. The diversity in tree types was to help these first time truffle growers hedge their bets with which would have the best truffles grow off their roots. Truffles are harvested in winter once they have matured, which is usually after a few heavy frosts. To hear more of this wonderful families story, head to their website.
One of my favourite things about the day was learning so much about truffles; how the spores are painted onto the roots of the trees. That in ancient times, they were thought to be associated with witchcraft? This in part was due to the ‘scorched earth’ and ‘hot cross bun’ type x that may appear on the ground above where a truffle is found? And did you know truffles can rot if they’re not picked in time? Our hosts we so incredibly genuine in their love of their farm and produce, and knowledgeable about it’s origins it really set apart the day.Truffle Hunting
A dog (or pig) is used to help smell out the fungi. However it is then up to the human to dig into the dirt to find the prized piece! The dog will have a little scratch at the ground. Then the truffle is searched for, with the dog receiving a special dog treat every time a truffle is found!
Once we had found a plethora of truffles (which was apparently very lucky for the last weekend of the season!), we all headed back to the house for what was to be a delicious, home cooked lunch!
Time to eat
After wandering around the farm for the morning, we had all worked up a healthy appetite, which was a good throng considering the spread we arrived back to!
Truffle cheese and non truffle cheese, truffle honey, plum paste and crackers, potato and leek soup with truffles, salad with truffles, polenta chips with truffle butter, and four cheese toast or with grated truffles! Oh my. In absolute heaven!
Then, to really finish it off, we were served a small shot of truffle vodka, made inhouse!
Some Handy Prep Tips
When these amazing fungi are available in abundance, it makes sense that you’d find ways of using and storing them. Here are some of their tips:
- Store truffles in a bowl with eggs and the flavor goes through the shell, for making truffled eggs.
- Add a whole truffle to cream to add flavor the the cream. It can then be removed and washed, and used for other purposes.
- Grate and add into butter to make truffle butter. This can be frozen, so truffle is available all year around.
Our wonderful hosts, Wendy, David And Alex were absolutely fabulous. I cannot wait to go back next year to help find and eat these delightful goodies!
If you’re interested in participating in a truffle hunt, head over to Ganymede website and register your interest for a future hunt!