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Truffle Festival - ACT


Truffle trivia

“Mud cooked by lightning”, Plutarch called them.

Right now it’s truffle-harvesting time in Australia, and they’re popping up all over the country. Tasmania was the first state to plant and harvest them, but now good finds are being made at groves in NSW, Victoria and WA.

These are the winter black truffles (Tuber melanosporum) beloved by the French, and found most notably in the Perigord region. Word is that some places in Australia are also currently trying to raise the rarer white truffle most commonly unearthed around Alba in northern Italy.

But something you may not know is that Australia has its very own truffles. You won’t find theses indigenous, native truffles on anyone’s menus, though. Not unless you’re a potoroo, bandicoot or native mouse. These animals must be natural gourmets because they love them, digging them up from the base of paper bark trees, eucalypts, casuarinas, and many other native shrubs.

Most of us have never seen these wild truffles, but we're told they may smell faintly of peanut butter or bubble gum! Or several far worse smells – just use your imagination for those!

What’s more, although about 250 species have so far been indentified in this country, it’s possible there could be as many as another thousand or more varieties lurking out there in every sort of environment from lush rainforests to the arid inland mallee areas.

So, although it seems Australia has an inexhaustible range of truffles, in all shapes and sizes (and odours) they’re not about to catch on too soon.

If you are interested in getting close to some good old black ones, head for the ACT very soon for the local truffle festival.


The Festival launch on Thursday 21 June coincides with the Winter Solstice - this magical, wintry time of year brings with it the Canberra region’s highly prized quality French Black Truffles and marks the start of truffle season in one of Australia’s key truffle growing areas.  From its launch through to 31 July 2012, the Festival promises to educate, excite and delight the taste-buds of those interested in this magical ingredient – from truffle hunts and cooking classes, to degustation menus and even truffle beer!


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