During the 2018 season, we are conducting truffle hunts for the public on Sundays at 10.00am sharp from mid June to mid August, subject to climate and evidence of truffle fruiting. Hunts will include the harvest with dogs, industry information, tastings and the opportunity to buy fresh truffle and truffle products. Sunday hunts are $80 per person and accompanied children 15 years old and under are free.
The harvest dogs, contracted by BlueFrog Truffles, are owned by Prue and Alan Church, TruffleDog Truffle Hunting, www.trufledog.com.au Please note that we cannot allow hunt participants to bring their own dogs to the hunt.
Please also notify us of the number of children 15 and under, as we try to keep totals to about 25 people.
If you’d like to continue your truffle experience after the hunt and tasting, we can recommend lunch ($45 for the special truffle dish and a glass of wine) at Contentious Character (please book directly with them – they are a 15 minute drive away), or, if you’d like to make it really special, cook your own truffle degustation lunch, ($140 with paired wine and $115 without wine) at Foodish, the Cooking School and function venue at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets (please book directly with them – a 25 minute drive away). The hunt usually finishes around 12 noon, and please mention you’re on a hunt at Blue Frog Truffles!
For the Chefs
We always welcome local chefs and their staff to contact us to arrange a free visit and learn about this new and emerging local industry and the subtleties of growing, harvesting and grading truffles.
What happens on the hunt?
We get asked this a lot, so hopefully the following information will provide all you need to know! We cant allow other dogs at the hunts and children 15 years old and under are free at the Sunday hunts, but must be accompanied by an adult.
The hunt takes about one hour in the field and provides information about growing and harvesting truffles as we walk through the truffiere. The hunter will explain the management of the dogs and we follow the trained truffle dog hunting down the truffle aroma and marking the spot with its paw or by dropping. You will see the truffles located and carefully dug from the ground, to avoid any damage. Truffles are hard to find without a trained dog and still requires quite a lot of careful digging once the dog has indicated its presence. Truffles in Europe grow in the wild and are spread by animals eating and passing the truffle spore in their scat and infecting other trees. 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 are difficult to harvest, unlike above ground mushrooms, where you can easily pick a full basket.
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 a chlorine based 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 of things truffled. It is not a meal, but a chance to see the processes involved in preparing truffles for market, to get some idea of truffle taste, aroma and some ideas for use of truffle in your own cooking. This usually takes about one hour. If you wish, you can buy truffle after the hunt – depending on what is harvested that day and what restaurant orders we have outstanding. It is an informative and enjoyable day from 10.00 am to 12 noon.
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 as we will go out regardless!