My truffle is bigger than your truffle.

Advertising Feature 6 July 2012 6

Every year there’s an element of rivalry and pride amongst our truffle growers when they find the first truffles. Someone suggested that finding the first truffle of the season should be as widely publicised as that European symbol of spring, the swallow. Even ‘The Times’ treats swallow sightings seriously (maybe it’s because UK winters are so damned depressing. One of my English mates described the winter light as “like looking up from the bottom of a pond”)

The other suggestion was to promote the occasion in the local and Sydney papers and “auction off the first big one”. There’s a problem however that these first truffles are not as black inside or as strong in aroma as those from later in the season. Like now. The growers don’t start selling them until they reach maturity and grade them according to shape and pungency. If you’re a restaurant shaving slices on top of a dish at the table, you prefer smooth round truffles that slice into attractive circles. Some of them have insect damage, or a scratch or two from an energetic truffle dog, but these knobbly ones are fine if you are just going to use a microplane and grate them, or chop them into a dish like rissotto or a sauce. According to this year’s emails, Sherry McArdle-English at French Black Truffles of Canberra claimed a 444g monster four weeks ago and sent a picture with Snuffle her truffle dog who found it.

The other pictures here are from this week and it was a truffle from Terra Preta, the Marshall family’s truffiere in Braidwood. As you can see it was huge, just under 700g and that makes it worth around $1400 (if when you gently break it apart it’s all usable. It’s a bit hard to see in all those crevices). It smelt fantastic and as the season goes on, they only get better. And then they stop. No more. You go out into the paddock and the dog takes one sniff and wants to get back in the truck.

So we can’t even auction off the last truffle of the season, because it was probably sold yesterday. Get them while you can.

Sherry’s truffles are available from various places at the Fyshwick Markets, Terra Preta has a stall at the Farmers Markets at EPIC on a Saturday morning.

[The Truffle Festival is ongoing]

truffle truffle

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6 Responses to My truffle is bigger than your truffle.
poetix poetix 9:41 pm 25 Jul 12

I was away when this was posted, but it’s really fun to see the clever dog who found the (much smaller) truffle I bought. Top work Snuffles. And Sherry!

I think the price is worth it, once a year. It’s like buying a really special bottle of wine.

Of course, if you’ve bought a truffle, you’re likely to do that as well.

pirate_taco pirate_taco 4:45 pm 08 Jul 12

I just tried my first black truffle, and while the taste and aroma was pleasant, I don’t think I could ever justify paying *that* much for them myself.

switch switch 12:05 pm 08 Jul 12

Glad it’s not just me. I’ve tried them here and in France and both time was left wondering what all the fuss was about. And especially the price. They’re all right, perhaps a bit “musty” for my taste buds, and certainly not something I’d choose first from the menu.

dungfungus dungfungus 10:22 am 08 Jul 12

Having deferrred until later in my life the enthusiastic taking up olives, anchovies, snails, eggplant, artichokes, mussels and a lot of other things that were very “foreign” to me in my younger days, I gave truffles a go in France, Italy and now Australia. All three times they left me wondering what all the fuss is about. To me they hardly have a taste at all and as a consequence they are very bland and boring.
They seem to be some sort of and “underground mushroom” without the yummy taste of that funghi.
They would probably be OK on a pizza though but not at the ridiculous price they are at present.

thatsnotme thatsnotme 9:49 pm 07 Jul 12

Jammer1 said :

Never tasted a truffle and can probably go through my life never having tasted a truffle. Just a wee bit over the seasonal fawning over this “black gold”.

You must be a hoot at parties.

Jammer1 Jammer1 8:24 pm 06 Jul 12

Never tasted a truffle and can probably go through my life never having tasted a truffle. Just a wee bit over the seasonal fawning over this “black gold”.

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