Last Saturday (28 July) was sunny if cold in the Southern Highlands, but the company was good and the truffle event was very exciting. Slow Food Saddleback members and friends gathered at Samantha and John’s home and trufferie to meet the dogs and search the tree lines for that elusive and delicious treat.
The property has a warm and friendly shed where we started with truffle cheese and tea and coffee, donned white papery shoe covers to protect the soil around the trees and listened to an introduction on truffle farming and Samantha and John’s move into the industry. Then it was off with Peri (the Jack Russell) and handler to look for the truffles. We stayed behind Peri who quickly went down the tree line stopping when she smelt the unmistakable truffle smell. She then scratched the soil and sat down waiting for the handler to dig. The tools required are a dessert spoon and a good truffle nose! Success came quickly and it was exciting to see the truffle emerge from the ground.
Then onward down the line. More truffles were discovered, we all got to handle and smell them and the soil they were in. Interestingly, the truffles are hardy and tough. They get scrubbed with a nail brush and are then ready to be used within their three week shelf life.
Back to the shed for quiche, potato and leek soup with truffle grated on top, and a guessing competition to win a golf ball sized truffle to take home. Carolyn Evans was our very deserving winner – she had organised the day on our behalf – and guessed the weight within one gram.
Truffles were then purchased from the back of John’s prized ute and we all left in a very good mood for home or other areas nearby. We purchased two and have already enjoyed some on pasta with family in Melbourne. We are also taking one to the Mornington Peninsula for more delicious food.
A great outing and a true Slow Food enterprise. Congratulations to Samantha and John on their good, clean and fair production. They are now supplying local restaurants and food businesses during the three month production period and over the next year plan to plant more trees and hope for more success. An outing recommended to all.
Slow Food Saddleback
Trufferie contact details:
151 McEvilly Road ROBERTSON 2577
+61 401 570 146