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Truffle Mania

Monday 27th June 2016

Another year of truffle mania is in full swing and, I must say I’m pretty thrilled about it.

Try as we might to fake it, the truffle is one of Mother Nature’s last bastions for ingredients that are truly seasonal.

Six to eight weeks is the entirety of truffle season, as the wet soil becomes a breeding ground for truffle spores, before the winter chill gets too much and freezes all assets.

Now you (or at least the truffle dog) smell them, now you don’t.

Speaking of smell, many adventurous eaters get their first whiff of “truffle” via truffle oil, which isn’t made of real truffle at all, rather, a synthetic compound created in a lab to mimic one of the 87 aromas within one of these bad boys.

Speaking of “bad boys”, Anthony Bourdain’s famous statement, ”Unto forever and eternity, truffle oil is not food,” was echoed by many of the chefs who joined me on stage over the weekend, but, according to even some truffle purists, adding a drop of the oil into hot recipes (such as risotto, sausage or roast chook) can help to enhance the aroma of the real thing.

As this is the third iteration of the festival, I wondered if the chefs could possibly bring more new stuff to the table – and boy, was I pleasantly surprised! From truffle chicken ballottine to truffled Floating Islands, every earthy flavour was enhanced and enriched with just a few shavings of black gold.

And “gold” is exactly what these recipes, from some of Melbourne’s most celebrated chefs, are.

If you’d like to see last year’s recipes, head here

And here are some tips from our very own Truffle King, Damian Pike

2016 Truffle Mania Recipes:

Poached eggs with truffles, reggiano and solf polenta by Paul Wilson

Chicken ballontine with fresh truffle, creme friache and roasted garlic by Nicky Riemer

Blanc manger, with shaved truffle by Philippe Mouchel

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