It is that time of year again that gets me very excited – truffle season!
There is something about truffles, which I can’t explain, that I am totally addicted to. (and I am not talking about the chocolate variety!)
I’m not sure if it is the uniqueness and rarity of the ingredient or the sheer indulgence, but one thing is for sure – there is nothing that tastes better than a fresh Australian truffle.
The best way to experience truffles is definitely when they are in season – at their best. There are a lot of truffle flavoured products on the market but quite often they use synthetic truffle flavouring and it doesn’t compare to the real thing.
Fresh Australian truffles are in season in winter usually around late June, July until early August.
It’s so hard to describe truffles to someone who hasn’t tried them because the taste is not like the smell. They are also an acquired taste. But what a taste to acquire!
So where do I get my truffles? How much should you order? And what do they cost?
I order my truffles from The Truffle Man in Brisbane. Truffles in Brisbane can be tricky to find, but The Truffle man brings in Périgord truffles direct to Brisbane from Truffle Hill in Manjimup W.A. So they are as fresh as they can be!
There are a range of sizes starting from 20g. So you can get a small truffle and experiment without too much of a cost outlay.
A 50g truffle is a good size. It is the same weight and similar size to an egg and costs about $160. You only need about 5g of truffle per person per dish (about 2-3g for an entree size or dessert.) so a 50g truffle is enough for 6 people for 2 courses – which is roughly $26 per person.
Of course – if you truffle some eggs – that can go even further!
Amanda from The Truffle Man has been working with truffles for over 15 years and has a very interesting range of products and skills. I caught up with Amanda at a Beautiful Truffle Dinner held in Brisbane last night for a chat about all things truffle!!
Amanda and her husband Philippe first met travelling 30 years ago and have been together even since. They have lived in Japan, Switzerland, Belgium and France. Each major move has allowed them to learn more about regional food and wines and discover some really interesting ingredients – which I love! Philippe is from France and has a strong passion for seasonal, good quality ingredients. Relocating to Brisbane in 2006 with their three French-born children, Amanda and Philippe decided to share their amazing knowledge and skills with the Australian public. They have sourced some incredible fine food and boutique wines, with champagnes being Amanda’s absolute speciality. I think a Champagne feature is definitely in order!
I caught up with Amanda to ask her a few questions about Truffles and why Brisbane is the best place to be.
What do you love about truffles?
The enigma. It’s so hard to describe them to someone who hasn’t tried them because the taste is not like the smell. They are also an acquired taste. But what a taste to acquire!
What led you to suppling truffles in Brisbane?
When we moved to Brisbane from France in 2006 we missed truffles leading up to the Christmas season. Even though they are a winter crop, for us coming from Europe they are part of Christmas. We found that chefs hadn’t been too happy with the freshness of truffles they had seen because no one was bringing them directly into Brisbane. So we took up the challenge. At the time the Australian Truffle industry was in it’s infancy and anyway, Truffles from Australia are available from June – August / not at Christmas!
What do you love about Brisbane so much?
The weather. The laid back lifestyle. The understated elegance.
What is your favourite way to use truffles in cooking?
I love it the simplest way possible. Shaved over scrambled eggs, or a creamy pasta sauce. The other ingredients shouldn’t overwhelm the truffle. Truffle is a delicate diva!
What is the most interesting way you have tried truffle in a dish that was unexpected?
Actually this last weekend I did a cooking class at Willow Vale Cooking School with Michelin star chef Bruno Loubet and he made a parsnip mousse with truffle for dessert and it blew my mind! Parsnips and truffle in dessert? Wow! But it worked!
For someone that hasn’t tasted truffle, how would you describe the flavour?
That is so hard! It is a very delicate nutty flavour. As delicate as the aroma is strong.
How do you know how much to use in a dish? And what the cost could be?
A rule of thumb is 2g for an entree and 3-5g for a main. So for the average home cook that would cost about $6 per person for the entree or $9-15 for w main. About the cost of a glass of wine!
Finally, what is your favourite food to growk at?
Definitely langoustine tails in a saffron sauce…. And maybe a touch of truffle!
For more information Contact:
I was lucky enough to attend a wonderful Truffle dinner at Black Fire Restaurant in Brisbane on 21 July 2021.
A beautiful 4 course menu celebrating Black Périgord Truffles in every course was served. This wonderful event was hosted by Amanda from @thetrufflemanoz and prepared by Chef @aless_spiga. The menu was amazing, matching wines were perfect and Amanda had some serious truffles to growk at! What a lovely way to celebrate one of my absolute favourite ingredients – Truffles!
Our special Truffle Dinner was:
Entrée “La tartara di Mare” – Yellowfin Tuna tartare truffle infused with citrus salad and scampi ceviche.
Matching wine: Pinot Grigio, Pear Tree Marlborough NZ
First “La Truffatella” – House Pappardelle pasta made with quail eggs and durum wheat flour, porcini mushrooms and goat cheese, fresh truffle.
Matching wine: Tempranillo, Don Ramon Spain
Main “El Solomillo a la trufa”- Kobe fillet tenderloin marble score 6 with truffle jus, organic baby carrots and Dutch cream potato dauphinoise
Matching wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Hedonist Maclaren Valley AU
Dessert “La Fondant de Chocolate con trufa” – Chocolate truffles infuse cake, orange and mascarpone mousse and hazelnuts praline
Matching wine: Sherry, Pedro Jimenez Spain
Truffles Supplied by: The Truffle Man
Truffles Grown by: Truffle Hill
Photography by: Ange Costes Photography
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