Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Truffled delights

Did you know that Canberra has an annual Truffle Festival? Subtitled 'a taste of winter magic', it runs during July and August each year, and features truffle hunts, educational talks, cooking classes and demonstrations, and meals. We had the absolute delight of attending the 2013 Truffle Festival Finale Dinner last night at 10 Yards. There were four courses with matched wines, and each course (yes, even dessert!) incorporated local truffles.

Truffled Yass mushroon cappuccino

Mogo pumpkin and Jannei goat curd ravioli, burnt butter, sage and amaretti

Roasted Galston spatchcock, cauliflower, hazelnuts, raisins and truffled honey

Chocolate parfait, poached Batlow pear,
truffle mousse, brioche and honeycomb

Apologies for the rather dark photos. They were taken on my phone. The food and wine were wonderful and there was a slightly theatrical air, with waiters shaving truffles as they served the dishes. It was exciting to be part of this superb event, and to support Canberra's growing truffle industry.

While truffle eating (by humans) is a relatively new thing in Canberra and its environs, native animals have been enjoying them for a long time. Some marsupial species, such as the long-footed potoroo and Gilbert's potoroo,  dine almost exclusively on native truffles. If you're interested in learning more about native truffles and the critters that eat 'em, I can recommend the fascinating Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: How Forests Function (Maser, Claridge & Trappe, 2009). An excellent insight into forest ecosystems and fungi as food sources.

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