In this post, we're about to embark on a fragrant adventure, exploring the delightful variations in aroma found in truffles that sprout beneath our English Oak, French Oak, and Hazelnut trees. Thanks to the brilliant work of Professor Garry Lee, who geeked out over the compounds in Australian Black Truffle, we're uncovering the real-deal scoop on what these aromatic differences mean for our kitchen escapades. So, join us on this intriguing journey as we unravel the complexity and marvel at the wonders of our beloved Australian truffle. Get ready for a nose-tingling experience!
Truffle aroma and trees.
If you read our blog post on Truffle appreciation - Truffle compounds and aroma, we presented the Professor’s compound breakdown of truffles taken from different trees. See the two compound diagrams from that post which we have placed below for your convenience.
When it comes to inhaling the aromatic delights of truffle from English, French Oak and Hazelnut trees , it's no surprise that we encounter both shared characteristics and distinct variations. As we delve into the meticulous breakdowns provided by Professor's work, a fascinating pattern emerges. While dominant truffle compounds like Dimethyl Sulfide remain consistent across the board, it's the less concentrated compounds that steal the show, giving rise to the mesmerising array of aromas unique to each truffle type. Now, you may wonder, what does this all mean in practical terms? Brace yourself, for it's a labyrinth of complexity begging to be unravelled.
Indulging in the aroma of truffles in isolation will always differ from the sensory symphony they create when incorporated into a dish. Remember the enlightening science of pairing we briefly touched upon in our post about matching truffles with food? Well, since truffles join forces with other ingredients, their ultimate experience is heavily influenced by the companions they keep. It's essential to consider that the compounds present in smaller quantities truly shine when it comes to exploring truffles from different trees. And let's not overlook the valuable lesson from our pairing post: even when present in minute amounts, compound concentrations can be remarkably intensified when paired with matched food components on the plate.
And so, the excitement begins! Right from the start, immediately after our first harvest, Leesa and I sensed a distinct contrast among the truffles we carefully selected by tree type. Anticipation grew as market day approached, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. We proudly presented the truffles separately, each one concealed under its own cloche. To our delight, every single person immediately recognized the pronounced differences between the various truffles. It was a day filled with preferences, as everyone had their own favoured aroma. Based on our estimations, truffles from beneath French Oak and Hazelnut trees emerged victorious a whopping 75% of the time, although the margin slightly diminished on our subsequent market day. But wait, let's not forget what I mentioned earlier. These aroma preferences are just one part of the equation. The real quest lies in discovering the perfect pairing for truffles from a specific tree. That, my friends, is the elusive holy grail we tirelessly pursue when it comes to truffles.
What are the aromas telling us about truffles from under French Oak, English Oak and Hazelnut trees?
In this section, we'll be discussing things in broad strokes. However, I'm thrilled to share that next week, after our upcoming third harvest, we'll delve deeper into the nitty-gritty. We're taking a bold leap and attempting to align each truffle type with the Aroma wheel expertly crafted by Professor Lee himself. So, stay tuned as we venture into a more detailed exploration of the fascinating aromas that await us next week.
French Oak truffles
The aroma emanating from the French Oak truffle seems to take the lead as the most favoured. To my olfactory senses, they exude a delightful floral essence, setting them apart from the rest. However, it's worth noting that in the second week, we encountered a particular truffle that took centre stage with a more pronounced inclination towards the "chemical" side of the aroma spectrum.
As for pairing these aromatic wonders, fret not, for we shall delve into that topic in the upcoming week. Nevertheless, it's worth mentioning that we enjoyed many a captivating conversations sparked by the act of sampling and experiencing the differences firsthand.
These truffles were a close contender to the French Oak variety, boasting an aroma that shared similarities but also held their own distinct characteristics. They exuded a complex, yet still floral scent, hinting at their intriguing nature. While the French Oak truffles possessed that irresistible truffle "sex appeal" aroma that seemed to captivate most, I believe it is these truffles that will prove to be more versatile and engaging on the plate. Their complexity promises to bring an added dimension to culinary creations, making them all the more intriguing.
Again, our pairing suggestions and placement on the Aroma wheel will be revealed in the upcoming blog post, so stay tuned for an exciting array of tantalizing combinations.
English Oak truffles
On a completely different note, it was quite amusing to witness the delightful conflict that arose for our English and French friends when they discovered their affinity for truffles grown beneath each other's trees. Enough of that, let's return to the captivating world of aromas.
During our second harvest, truffles from the English Oak trees garnered more favour compared to the batch from the first week. The second harvest truffles displayed a pronounced floral character compared to the first week, while still retaining that enchanting essence reminiscent of the ‘forest floor’. These truffles tend to embody a distinct mushroom-like or earthy quality.
No prize for what we are going to suggest English Oak truffle will be best for?
And that is it for now. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did please give us a like. We like likes. If you think someone you know might be interested, feel free to share it with a friend. In the meant time have a lovely week and see you at Orange Grove Markets in Lilyfield.
Ciao for now.