During the 2016 season, we are harvesting twice a week and will be conducting truffle hunts for the public on Sundays at 10.00am from 19 June 2016 and on Wednesdays at 2.30pm from 22 June 2016, each running for a planned 8 weeks, subject to truffle fruiting. Unfortunately, all of our hunts are booked out.
We always welcome local chefs and their staff to visit and learn about this new and emerging local industry and the subtleties of growing, harvesting and preparing truffles. Hunts will include harvest with dogs, industry information, tastings and the opportunity to buy fresh truffle and truffle products. Wednesday hunts will be $65 per person and, as places are limited, we regret that we cant accept children free at the Wednesday hunts. The Wednesday hunts are conducted by Joelle Dulac, who also manages a small local truffiere, conducts truffle tours to France and produces truffle products. See Joelle’s website http://www.latruffiere.com.au. Sunday hunts will be $75 per person and conducted by Justin Haslam and cousin Rebecca Haslam. Children under 16 are free. The harvest dogs, contracted by BlueFrog Truffles, are owned by Colin Munn and his partner Lee of Southern Tablelands Treasurers, truffle detection and harvesting services www.southerntablelandstreasures.com
What happens on the hunt?
We get a lot of questions about what exactly happens on our truffle hunts, so hopefully the following information will provide all you need to know! We cant allow other dogs at the hunts and children under 16 are free at the Sunday hunts, when accompanied by an adult.The hunt provides information about growing and harvesting truffles as we walk through the truffiere. The hunter will explain his management of his dogs and we follow the trained truffle dog hunting down the truffle aroma and marking the spot with its paw and seeing the truffles carefully harvested from the ground, to avoid any damage. Truffles are hard to find without a trained dog and still require quite a lot of careful digging, once the dog has indicated its presence. Truffles in Europe grow in the wild and are spread by attracting animals to eat them, passing the spore in their scat. Our truffles are cultivated from nursery infected trees, but we do still have some native and feral animals that like to dig them up and eat them. Truffles fruit every year and difficult to harvest, unlike above ground mushrooms, where you can pick a basket full easily.
Wear warm clothing and stout shoes, as the site is exposed on a hillside, the grass in the truffiere may be wet and you will be asked to disinfect your footwear by stepping on a wet pad containing bleach, to prevent the introduction of contaminating fungi to the truffiere.
After the hunt we come down to the cleaning and grading room at the house and talk about the industry in Australia and have a warm cup of something (usually soup) with truffle and some other simple tastings. It is not a meal, (the Wednesday fare is slightly less than the Sunday fare), but a chance to see the processes involved in preparing truffles for market, to get some idea of truffle aroma and taste and ideas for use of truffle in your own cooking. If you wish, you can buy truffle after the hunt – depending on what is harvested that day and what restaurant orders we have outstanding. An informative and enjoyable day.
What happens if the weather is bad?
We need to harvest the truffle, no matter what the weather is like, so be sure and dress appropriately on the day!
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