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Our 2024 truffle hacks


Gentle man going to eat egg with shaved truffle.
A scene from the movie, The Truffle Hunters, showing simplicity is key when it comes to the enjoyment of truffles.

Our truffle hunting is starting this week and boy am I in the middle of planing how to enjoy this truffle winter. This got me thinking, perhaps a blog post on some of the learning I have picked up over the years handling truffle and chatting to some of Australia’s top truffle chefs would be good. So a bit of a primer, our 2024 truffle hacks, the bare bones information you will need for getting the best from fresh winter black truffle. Are you ready? I know I am.


Truffle Hack 1. Fresh is (always) best

If you are buying truffle which are more than three days out of the ground you are already compromising your purchase. Truffles begin to deteriorate the moment they are harvested, so it's crucial to ask about their harvest date. At our farm, we know firsthand the incomparable taste of freshly dug truffles straight from the ground.


While truffles can last up to two or even three weeks when properly stored in the fridge, their flavour diminishes significantly over time. This is because truffles start to decay as soon as they're unearthed.


Truffle Hack 2. Aroma is king.

Chefs buy on aroma and so should you. We have spoken about this repeatedly in other blog posts. If you have not caught up on how to use aroma in selecting your truffles we have some links to our other posts at the bottom of the page.


Oh! and don’t forget, a cut truffle will loose more aroma than an uncut truffle. So use your uncut truffles quicker than those that are whole.


Truffle Hack 3. Truffle benefit from obsessive care

As mentioned above, truffle can last up 2 even 3 weeks in the fridge…….with the right care. Yes, truffle are decaying from the time they are taken out of the ground. If you think about it, their aroma “trick” is all about reproduction and so is their process of decay. Its all part of their life cycle ending in brake down and release of spores into the soil or a pig’s gut if they are lucky.


Taking good care of them means keeping them in an environment that reduces this natural decay. So keep them cool and dry in the fridge. Truffle naturally release water which assists them to break down. To keep water away from their skin, store them wrapped in absorbent paper and change it regularly, like daily.


Lastly, keep them in an airtight container like a jar in the fridge. Some do use plastic, we like to use glass.


Truffle Hack 4. When cooking with truffle, KISS.

When using truffles in the kitchen, simplicity is key for an authentic truffle experience. One of Sydney's top truffle chefs once revealed his secret weapon for truffle dishes: keeping it simple and highlighting their natural strengths. Pair them with classic companions such as eggs, cheese, pasta, potatoes, cauliflower, and creams (among others).


Truffle Hack 5. Truffle need a medium to travel through

So think creamy pastas, think runny scrambled eggs, collieflour soup, mash potatos, truffle mayonnaise, truffle icecream and last but not least melted Raclette or Gruyère cheese (in a toasty). Are you feeling it?


Truffle Hack 6. Should you grate or slice?

The answer is you should do both. So a well equipped truffle kitchen would have a very sharp truffle slicer and a microplane type grater. There are many considerations to be made when choosing to slice or grate first of which is your truffle’s aroma intensity. So if you have a strongly aromatic truffle that you are going to use in a melted cheese toasty then you may want to consider slicing your truffle so the truffle does not overpower everything. Or if you are a truffle tragic, like me, I would still grate.


If you want to impress your guests, choose a recipe that requires and can take at sliced truffle. For more information see our blog post on the topic here.


Truffle Hack 7. Heat is not a truffle’s friend

Another part of keeping it simple is to especially use truffle on food as it has been plated at the table.


Once the truffle reaches 36 degrees, its volatiles will explode into the air and into your food. This enables the truffle aroma to go to your nose and into your mouth in the food. Think truffle ‘sensearound’.


You can use truffle during the cooking process but because most will diffuse into the air above 36 degrees, the majority of those valuable aromas will be lost into the air and not your nose and mouth when you eat it.


Truffle hack 8. Look out for terroir

Terroir talks to the farm, the region and the state from which your truffle originated. The soil, the environmental factors, the tree, the inoculation type and many other local variables all impact a truffle’s aroma and flavour.


So, do find out where your truffles are from. Take notes, in our opinion there is no better culinary exploration journey .


And that's a wrap. A post about our tips, tricks and hacks for truffle enjoyment this winter. Keep warm and stay tuned to our blog for the latest on all things Australian truffle. If you liked this post, please consider sharing the joy with your friends and fellow truffle lovers. If you've got any truffle stories or questions, as always, we're all ears.


Ciao for now truffle lovers.


Carmine

2 Comments


I’m no chef Adam but from my limited experience, I have found that depending on the heat, when using truffle during cooking some of the aroma does get in, if the heat is not extreme like in frying or baking. For example, truffle infused rice for risotto works. I have not tried but truffle infused pasta seems to work. Sous vide seems to be viable as an option as the volatiles are locked into the bag. The only issue would be keeping it sealed until the very last. My experience with the need to hit meats with a bit of extreme meat to brown them off could be a problem but worth experimenting with. I have also seen some roasting…


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Another great post, thanks Carmine. One question you have shed light on, that I've found hard to find answers for, is how hot to heat truffles. While often stated truffles hate high temperatures, actual temperatures have been a little vague. How high is high? Noting your comment that once the truffle reaches 36 degrees its volatiles start to release more quickly, cooking methods become very limited.

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