The climatic conditions of the Southern Tablelands is ideally suited for the growing of Black French (Perigord) truffles. Hot summer temperatures starts the growth of the truffle, and our exceptionally cold frosty winter sets off and lock in that unique flavour and aroma of the Perigord truffle. Our Perigord truffle (Tuber Melanosporum) inoculated host trees (oak and hazelnut) were planted in the spring of 2010, with the first truffle harvested in the winter of 2014.
Truffles are an underground fungus. The Perigord truffles (Tuber Melanosporum) is native to France. Through extensive research and development it is now being successfully cultivated in Australia. Host trees (Oak and Hazelnut) seedlings are inoculated with Mycorrhiza (“fungus root”) and the host trees saplings are then planted in specially prepared soil. Australian soil is typically neutral to acid, and lime is added to increase the alkalinity to 7.5 pH to 8.0 pH, essential for the Perigord truffles to survive and thrive in its symbiotic relationship with the host trees.
Truffles are harvested in the winter (June to mid August). Trained hunting dogs are used to find the truffles. A human nose however is still required to confirm the ripeness of the truffle to harvest immediately, or leave in the ground for it to ripen further.
The aroma and taste of the truffle is hard to define, with each person having their own sensual experience and description of this mysterious alluring aroma and flavour.
To store, carefully remove from the packaging, wrap truffle in a clean non deodorised/perfumed absorbent paper/paper towel, store in a dry “airtight” resealable container (preferably glass), and keep refrigerated in the crisper section. Absorbent paper must be replaced regularly as the paper will absorb moisture from the truffle. The truffle will continually release moisture, so paper is used to ensure that the truffle stays as dry as possible to sustain its freshness. Damp moist paper will spoil your truffle.
You can also store truffles with eggs for about 2 to 3 days. Eggs must be fresh and with clean shells. Truffles stored with eggs in a resealable jar allows the aroma of the truffle to infuse into them to give you the truffle aroma and flavoured egg dish. Truffles stored with arborio rice for 2 to 3 days in a resealable jar also gives you an amazingly truffle infused rice for your risotto dish.
© Red Earth Truffles 2015