Truffles in Canberra

johnboy 15 July 2008 36

The SMH’s ‘Good Living’ is giving a plug to Canberra’s Truffle Shed.

Apparently you too can get your hands on locally grown truffles on Wednesday between 10 and 2 at 311 Majura Road, Majura.

It’ll set you back $250 to $350 for 100g of the black gold, but apparently you only need 40g to cook for four.


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ant ant 11:47 am 09 Aug 08

Bummer. I’d hoped to be able to experience truffles by just using the oil. They sell tinned truffles at Teh Essential Ingredient sometimes, but I’ve never dared to look at the price.

Danman Danman 11:43 am 09 Aug 08

Good truffle article in todays Panorama in the C(r)anberra Thymes.

Truffle oil isn’t always synthetic.

I have worked many places where we made our own infused truffle oil – that is – a good quality light olive oil (Less fruity) infused for at least a week @ room temperature with shaved truffles.

Truffle oil from good food shops isn’t always fake stuff – don’t get me wrong there is a heap of fake stuff around – but to sayits all fake would be missing the mark.

Look at the labels – as knee deep in the creek outlined, it’s easy to spot the fake stuff.

Any restaurant worth their salt will infuse their own oil… Discerning pallets can taste the difference

Kneedeep in the Creek Kneedeep in the Creek 9:21 am 09 Aug 08

Truffle oil, I’d like to point out, has nothing in common with truffles except the name. Providores and chefs who are either (a) ignorant of this fact or (b) should know better (and are happy to foist this scam on their customers) like to promote the idea that the oil is something like an infusion of black truffles in oil. It’s not. It’s a wholly synthetic product, typically 2,4-dithiapentane, that has never seen anything except the inside of a factory.

The taste and scent is cloying and one-dimensional, and has nothing of the richness and allure of the real thing. Shun it wherever you can. Being served truffle oil at a $30-plus-a-main joint impresses me about as much as being offered foil packets of marg or Moccona instead of real coffee.

Great story here in The New York Times on the oils that ain’t oils:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/dining/16truf.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all

nicolae nicolae 11:07 am 04 Aug 08

Had my first taste of fresh Aussie truffle yesterday. I have previously had it in the form of truffled butter, brie and pecorino and in truffle salt. I have also had the oil but apparently the oil is not real truffle, it’s oil with synthetic compunds added to it. The real, live article was much more delicate and fruity that I had expected it would be. It added a new dimension to everything it was paired with. In this instance this was a succession of things: fresh goat’s curd, lightly cured ocean trout, fennel & orange soup, roast chicken breast, mushrooms, lamb loin – all courtesy of a truffle demo and tasting at Flavours at the Fyshwick markets (a top experience). I am glad that I had the chance to try before buying – I had expected to be walloped with flavour, but it was more like wooing than walloping. I was won over at any rate (though I was a pretty willing victim). I’m still keen to buy my own truffle, but now I know that it’ll be a delicate, perfumed, fruity, rainforest-floor-y thing rather than a porcini on steroids (what I had expected).

Post truffle, I’d still highly recommend dried morels – similarly complex and novel, but a damn sight cheaper. Don’t get me wrong, though, being wooed by a truffle was pretty memorable and I’m keen for a second date.

b boy 070 b boy 070 10:59 pm 01 Aug 08

If you want to pay over $2500kg for a first year perigord (claytons truffle)…go for it

VicePope VicePope 2:10 pm 22 Jul 08

40g at c $140-160 (on price quoted) means that they’d have to accompany baked beans for four at my place.

For me, the magic moment was the mention that truffle oil is available at Griffith shops. I’ve been wanting to play with it for a while – drizzled on scrambled eggs would be the plan. I really don’t fancy paying c $40 for enough real truffle to steer the flavour of a pile of other stuff a bit.

(I really can’t see why Woolies shouldn’t do a home brand version – this is intended to be humorous, so please hold off).

PB

kittycat kittycat 1:18 pm 22 Jul 08

Has anyone tried the local version yet?. Like Danman, i prefer an infusion like an oil or eggs or even rice as im not too keen on the texture fresh. Love porcini though, great with truffle oil 🙂

nicolae nicolae 12:06 pm 17 Jul 08

Leaving aside the issues of (a) collecting your own mushrooms and surviving the consequences and (b) humour (wombat’s and my senses of) I have seen heaps of Slippery Jack mushrooms growing wild below the large pine trees along Ainsworth St in Garran (the north arm of it). They have a texture that not everyone would like, though – i.e. slippery.

Wiffens at the Fyshwick markets has developed quite a good mushroom collection in their fridge section – worth checking out if you like a bit of variety on that front. Dunno about pine mushrooms though.

astrojax astrojax 5:22 pm 16 Jul 08

does anyone know where i’ll be able to get pine mushrooms this year? the vege shop in the old city markets always had them in season (usually about three minutes, sometime in december) and i have seen them once since – so sad…

but yup, if you’ve tried porcini, do save up and have a blat at truffle!

and wombat, …nhaah, not even worth the virtual breath.

wombat_stew wombat_stew 3:25 pm 16 Jul 08

nicolae said :

Never had a fresh one, but I know people who have (in the US) and they just about swoon at the memory. Rather than going collecting, I might stick to the dried version, though, in the interests of waking up the next day…

LoL

ant ant 3:03 pm 16 Jul 08

One day i’ll get a truffle. One daaaaay….
(am planning to get some of that oil though).

nicolae nicolae 3:00 pm 16 Jul 08

Ant, if you love porcini, then do whatever it takes to get your hands on a truffle!! Porcini add a great element to many dishes, and if you like what they do then you will probably also like the characteristics of a truffle.

S4anta – thanks for the tips on morel-hunting. Never had a fresh one, but I know people who have (in the US) and they just about swoon at the memory. Rather than going collecting, I might stick to the dried version, though, in the interests of waking up the next day…

S4anta S4anta 2:48 pm 16 Jul 08

trick to truffles is the water content in the soil. if the trees feet are too wet the truffle spores get infected and die. Hence their preference for dewy dark forests, kinda like smurfs and mountain bike riders.

peterh peterh 2:13 pm 16 Jul 08

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

If this sh.t wasn’t rare and expensive, would all you ‘connoisseurs’ still sing praises about it? It surely doesn’t taste that good.

Spoken like somebody who’s never tried it and is comfortable enough with their ignorance to put it down anyway. Liver isn’t rare or expensive but I’ll still pay through the nose for a decent pate.

I also earn over $100K – is it OK with you if I keep eating this sort of thing rather than subsisting on Home Brand cat food and yesterday’s bread?

I don’t earn over 100k, so i will have to make do with homebrand tuna and stale bread. ah, but truffles! I will save up for a while to get them….

ant ant 1:59 pm 16 Jul 08

I’ve never tasted truffles, but I love Porcini. You can’t describe how they taste, but I love them. You can buy porcini powder at Essential Ingredient too, and the butcher/deli in Riverside Plaze sells Porcini stock cubes!

Morels are really popular in the US, but I never tried them.

@Santa, Walnuts certainly grow faster than Oaks, but they’re not quite as hardy. If it’s a watered and not too harsh environment though, Walnuts would be a good option indeed.

S4anta S4anta 1:25 pm 16 Jul 08
S4anta S4anta 12:40 pm 16 Jul 08

Just to add to Nic’s comment when looking for morels, ensure they are not false morels or you will catch a small case of death.

Word on the street is that morels have habit of popping up amongst the rose gardens of the more well to do suburbs in Canberra, particulary those that have a history of being owned by somemone who brought rose specimens over from Europe. This doesnt include the old parlismwent house rose garden/ first nation embassy/ derro slumberhouse.

A key word here may be trespassing, and you need a good eye. they stand about an one and half inches off the deck of the mulch they grow in.

FredJ FredJ 12:39 pm 16 Jul 08

TRUFFLES – love them. Developed a taste while riding a motorbike trough Italy and Spain last year. Absolutely fantastic. The oil is a letdown once you’re tasted them undiluted! You need so little to add so much flavour that the price isn’t that big an issue – yum, I’ll be there. Any real Spanish or Italian recipe book is stuffed full of recipes for them (we’ve got a big Italian recipe book called the Silver Spoon or something similar). The Italians somehow keep them affordable for the locals, hence for one lunch at a small cafe in the middle of nowhere my partner had slices of truffles mixed with scallops. Hate to think how much that would cost anywhere else.

nicolae nicolae 12:25 pm 16 Jul 08

Simple is good when it comes to truffles – e.g. shaved over some fresh pasta with a bit of butter.

Although truffles are expensive they are pretty impressive as a sensory experience. And why shouldn’t people spend their dollars on a pricey mushroom if they want to? Enough truffle for 2 people is cheaper than a tank of petrol!!! I am most certainly going to get one!!!

We went to a tasting (French night) at the Mart Deli in Fyshwick last week and had morels (another kind of mushroomy thing – you buy them dried, then soak in water, then cook in cream for a great sauce for chook or pasta). I’d actually say that, as a member of the expensive mushroom category, they were even better than truffles – really complex and interesting (quite delicate really), rather than just the powerful earthy hit you get from a truffle. Morels sell for $40 for a packet at the deli (enough for 8 people for a pasta sauce I’d say).

S4anta S4anta 12:15 pm 16 Jul 08

too easy PM. back up late august, i’ll be in touch!

Grab a jar with a rubber stopper, and whack them in with a bunch of eggs, cos egg shells are porous the eggs take on a bit of the smell and taste.

Froi grois is down here too groover.

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