I poked my head outside for a moment this evening to check if Mars was visible in the sky, but all I could see was the fog coming out of my mouth and nose. It's bloody cold out there, which augers well for the region's truffle growers and the upcoming Truffle Festival - Canberra Region.
The Truffle Festival - Canberra Region is back for another wonderful winter. Tastebuds will be tantalised, truffle curiosities will be satisfied and the delightful dogs will get their paws dirty as they unearth the magical Black Winter Truffle.
Now in it’s 8th year, The Truffle Festival - Canberra Region 2016, is the first and largest of it’s kind in Australia. It’s the ultimate foodie event and runs from June through to August. More than 250 individual events will be held this year, from truffle degustations and truffle inspired menus, through to live truffle hunts, cooking classes, truffle tastings and much more.
Local truffle growers are expecting a productive 2016 harvest, despite the warm autumn. Festival spokesperson and truffle grower from Turalla Truffles, Damian Robinson said the the buzz surrounding the festival and impending harvest is building.
“The dogs are excited. We are excited. The truffles are just starting to peep through the earth’s surface, which means the truffle harvest is so close, you can smell it.”
“We are lucky to have a truly productive truffle industry so close to a major city. Our festival draws attention to the beautiful winter season experiences available in our region, highlighting the seasonality of our local food and our fresh, Black Winter Truffle.”
This year the festival offers visitors and locals new and familiar experiences.
Truffle enthusiasts can head to Westfield shopping centres for Truffle Market Days (Woden 25 June 2016 and Belconnen 23 July 2016), and enjoy cooking demonstrations by Canberra's leading chefs, talks by local Black Winter Truffle growers and free tastings of truffle and value-added truffle products.
Fresh Black winter truffles will be available for sale at the Fyshwick Markets, as well as the Sagra Market, operating over lunchtime from the back lane way of Italian & Sons in Braddon on 30 July. Pick up some fresh truffle direct from truffle growers, or perhaps dine in for a special truffle pasta and wine dish.
Former apprentice to Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda and ex food editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller, Rodney Dunn, now runs the Agrarian Kitchen, a sustainable farm-based cooking school in Tasmania. A guest of the Festival, Rodney will be in Canberra for a special Food & Words event.
To kick off the season, book a live truffle hunt at one of the many truffieres throughout the region. Truffle hunts will be held at Macenmist Black Truffles and Wines (Bredbo), Turalla Truffles (Bungendore), Tarago Truffles (Tarago) and Blue Frog Truffles (Sutton). The truffle hunts will take place most weekends during winter, and involve extras including lunches, tastings and cooking demonstrations.
Get your inner truffle chef happening at cooking classes held at 3 Seeds at the Fyshwick Markets, Foodish at the Belconnen Markets, and at Le Tres Bon at Bungendore. Classes include truffle workshops, French and Italian truffle classes, and a truffle pasta class for kids.
Enjoy wine tastings and truffle platters at Mount Majura Vineyard, Pankhurst Wines and Lerida Estate. Or, if you’d prefer a beer, try the BentSpoke truffled beer utilising the ‘Hopinator’ infuser. The Hopinator will be packed with fresh truffles which will infuse the beer prior to pouring.
Truffle breakfasts, lunches and degustation dinners will be held at a variety of venues throughout the region including, Bicicletta, Pod Food, Pulp Kitchen, Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar, Pialligo Estate, Italian and Sons, Mezzalira, Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa, National Press Club, Black Fire Restaurant, Marble and Grain, University House, Hyatt Hotel Canberra, C Dine Bar, Conservatory Restaurant, Hotel Kurrajong, Vibe Hotel, Joes Bar, and Muse - Food, Wine & Books.
A range of accommodation options for visitors to the region will be available from the festivals accommodation providers including The Vibe Hotel, Hotel Kurrajong and the Accor Group.
For more information and to see a full calendar of events, visit www.trufflefestival.com.au
Words and images courtesy of the the Truffle Festival – Canberra Region. For bookings and more information about the 2016 Truffle Festival, visit the web site.
Have you ever been on a truffle hunt, my friends?
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