A waiter has probably asked you if you want a shaving of it over your pasta, or you’ve had some sort of oil or butter infusion of it... but do you know what truffles really are? Read on to discover more about this rare culinary treasure often referred to as ‘black gold’.
Six interesting facts about truffles
- Truffles are a form of mushroom that grow underground on the roots of trees, traditionally oaks and hazelnuts.
- Truffles grow in symbiosis with a host tree, enabling the tree to absorb phosphorus while the truffle receives sugars, enabling it to grow.
- Pigs, dogs and goats are trained to find truffles by recognising the distinctive smell of the truffle permeating the ground around it. We’ve heard pigs can be a problem as they tend to get over-excited and dig up and eat the truffle!
- The best truffles are cultivated between late-winter to early-spring.
- Truffles are rare in the wild and are extremely difficult to farm. Trees must first be inoculated with truffle spores and the truffles require very specific conditions to grow.
- Australia is the fourth largest truffle producer after France, Italy and Spain.
And now that truffle season is in full swing, we have enlisted the expertise of Sydney-based Madame Truffles to bring you the ultimate truffle experience.
How to match wine with truffle
Looking for a bottle of wine to go with a truffle-based dish this winter? As many of you know, truffles are the ultimate indulgence, adding a touch of elegance that transforms a simple dinner into a posh soirée.
Now you only need to find a wine which is strong enough to stand up to truffle. Decanter’s Chris Mercer suggests pairing truffles with “wines with some bottle age. Tertiary aromas such as earthy and mushroom notes will work well with the savoury character of truffles. Avoid light, fruity whites and reds”.
From our cellar
- For red meat lovers: Try our Collection Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Pair your fish and truffle main with an aged Pinot Noir; our 2014 Collection Pinot Noir from cool-climate Central Otago in New-Zealand would be perfect.
- Truffle risotto needs a creamier wine - try our Single Vineyard Chardonnay from Capella Vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula.
Wondering where to eat truffles in Sydney?
Good news Sydneysiders! Handpicked Wines is serving Truffle, Toasties, Tunes on Thursday evenings in our urban cellar door in Chippendale. Come and experience our selection of gourmet toasties, which includes an array of European cheeses and cured meats from Formaggi Ocello paired with freshly-shaved black truffle.
And for the extreme truffle nerds, we are also hosting an exclusive sensory masterclass with Madame Truffles herself.
Truffle toasties every Thursday
Truffle enthusiasts, this one is for you: this winter we have enlisted the expertise of Madame Truffles to bring you the ultimate truffle experience.
The Madame Truffles team sources the most exquisite selection of black truffles in Australia, and we’re taking in a steady supply. To celebrate this partnership the cellar door is launching Truffle, Toasties, Tunes on Thursday evenings during winter. Our gourmet range of toasties includes a selection of European cheeses and cured meats from Formaggi Ocello paired with freshly shaved black truffle.
Truffle toasties menu
Handpicked-Monsieur: Bresaola, Raclette, shaved Victorian Truffle - $18
Madame-Monsieur: Salami classico, Comte, shaved Victorian truffle - $18
Jaffle Madame Espagne: Jamon Serrano, Manchego, shaved Western Australian truffle - $18
Jaffle Tramezzino: Italian truffle salami, Trentigrana, Tasmanian truffle - $18
Jaffle de Meaux: Hoddle Brie, shaved South Australian truffle - $16
Our Handpicked sommeliers are on hand to perfectly pair toasties with a wide selection of wines. We’ll be making truffle toasties from 5:30pm and there will be live music from 7pm every Thursday. Don’t let your taste buds salivate unrequitedly - book a table now.