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Celebrating the flavour of truffles

Food & Wine Events

Australian-grown black truffles are now in season and the Adelaide Central Market is celebrating with the 2016 Truffle Festival.

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Marco Marinelli is a mushroom and truffle specialist, and his Mushroom Man’s Mushroom Shop at the Central Market is one of many outlets involved in Truffle Festival activities. It is also the go-to place for new-season truffles.

Truffle is a type of fungus which grows in the ground among tree roots and is prized for its distinct flavour.

Marinelli says truffles are highly aromatic with a strong, rich and earthy flavour. “Everyone tends to describe their experience of truffle differently, which I think is part of the charm.”

Truffles are used to add flavour to pasta, risotto and mashed potato. They are also added to flavour cheeses, olive oil, honey and charcuterie.

Marinelli says many people love making bread with truffle and then simply eating it with butter.

He sources his Australian-grown truffles, specifically the European black winter truffle (Tuber Melanosporum), from Western Australia and Tasmania.

“World-class truffles are produced in cold climates,” he says. “Cooler temperatures are ideal for the strongest and best-quality fruit, with warmer temperatures producing a milder truffle.”

Truffle-Stijn-Nieuywendijk-flickr-resized

Fresh truffle. Photo: Stijn Nieuywendijk/Flickr

Truffles are traditionally grown under oak and hazelnut trees, and usually take eight to 10 years to develop from planting to harvest.

“Oak-grown truffles are best, in my opinion, due to their richer taste,” says Marinelli.

Prices range from $2000 to $3000 a kilogram, but as you need very little to cook with, they are sold by the gram. Marinelli recommends 5 grams per person per dish for a good result when cooking.

To store, truffles should be wrapped in paper towels and kept in an airtight container in the coolest part of the fridge.

“Change the paper towel at least every two days and add some rice to the container to help keep the truffle dry. As a bonus, the rice will become truffle-flavoured – perfect for making a risotto.”

The Truffle Festival runs from tomorrow until Saturday, July 2. Activities include free truffle-cooking demonstrations with chefs such as Josh Gorman (Hilton Adelaide), Nick Filsell (Lost in a Forest) and Simon Bryant.

During the Truffle Festival, Central Market eateries Zuma Caffe, Big Table, Comida Catering Co, Atlas Continental, Tbar, Lucia’s Pizza & Spaghetti Bar, Charcuterie Traiteur and Le Souk will all feature truffle on their menus, and Central Market stalls Mushroom Man’s Mushroom Shop, Jagger Fine Food, Marino Meat Store,  The Olive Tree, Charcuterie Traiteur, Corner Deli, Sevenhill Fine Food, Say Cheese, The Smelly Cheese Shop and Barossa Fine Foods will feature products including fresh truffle, preserved truffle, truffle oil, truffle salt, truffle honey, truffle cheese, truffle charcuterie and more.

To conclude the festival, the Grand Truffle Lunch will be held in the Central Market on Sunday, July 3, offering a truffle-inspired four-course menu with matched wines designed by chef Stuart Oakfield. Tickets cost $175 per person and can be purchased here.

The full 2016 Truffle Festival program can be found here.

 

 

 

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