2012-08-02

Mundaring Truffle Festival 2012

Truffles galore is one way to describe my day at the 6th annual Mundaring Truffle Festival with the truffles supplied by Oak Valley Truffles. It was unlike any other truffle tasting that I've had before during degustations. If you're a fan of truffles or you want the true truffle experience then this is for you! I would recommend you attend the long table lunch to maximise your experience to the fullest potential. It's $175 per head but I can say it is definitely worth it as you also receive the matching wine as well.

What is a truffle?
Okay so you might be thinking what exactly is a truffle? Well, I would describe as having a slightly wooded flavour with a dry texture similar to a mushroom but less porous. It has a hard texture and is usually grated in food. There is a large variety of truffle products that you can buy such as truffle butter, oil, cheese, pasta, caviar and of course you can buy the real deal which is probably the best option, then secondly, the truffle caviar. I would recommend the Perlage Di Tartufo made in Italy for $32.  Before you think negative thoughts about this caviar, it's not made from roe but from "black winter truffle juice, obtained directly from the fresh truffle during the cooking. The tasty juice is then reduced in small pearls through a very sophisticated technique called "sferification". the end result? Popping pearls have the taste of the truffle but the same colour and texture as black caviar" (http://chefshop.com). The only thing with this is that it has a strong smell possibly through the squid ink used.

According to Wikipedia "A truffle is the fruiting body of a subterranean mushroom; spore dispersal is accomplished through fungivores, animals that eat fungi. Almost all truffles are ectomycorrhizal and are therefore usually found in close association with trees. There are hundreds of species of truffles, but the fruiting body of some (mostly in the genus Tuber) are highly prized as a food: Brillat-Savarin called them "the diamond of the kitchen". Edible truffles are held in high esteem in French, Spanish, northern Italian and Greek cooking, as well as in international haute cuisine."


1st Course - Arroz caldo con Bonbon de pollo
  • Philippine style rice broth with truffled chicken bonbon mousseline, truffled tofu and smoked duck - Sunny de Ocampo - EatGoodLife
  • 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay - Watershed Wineries
This dish was a great starter as it was almost like having a soup for an entree. To describe it in laymans terms it was a congee or rice porridge. I actually really like congee and have tried it many times but never with truffles. It had a nice balance of flavours with no overpowering ingredients. It was smooth in texture and came with a crispy truffled chicken bonbon mousseline that added extra depth to the dish. The truffled tofu was on the other end of the scale as a softer compliment to the meal. The wine was very sharp and complimented the meal well.



2nd Course - Truffle pork croquette 
  • Truffle pork croquette with cauliflower skordalia, Cambinata yabby, turmeric and truffle syrup - Iain Lawless and Liam Atkinson - Lawless Cooking
  • 2011 Shades Rose - Watershed Wineries
This is one of those dishes that you don't taste very often because it had the most amazing flavours. The pork croquette had strong flavours of truffle had a smoky taste. The yabbies were cooked to perfection and tender. You also could actually see the truffles as there was a generous proportion. The rosé was a good compliment and eased us into the the dishes to come.



3rd Course - Pappardelle con ragu di vitello e maggiorana

  • Pappardelle with White Rocks Veal and marjoram ragù - Nino Zoccali - Pendolino Restaurant in Sydney
  • 2010 Senses Sangiovese - Watershed Wineries

I really liked the combination of the Pappardelle which encased the other ingredients of the dish. The White Rocks Veal just melted in your mouth and blended nicely with the shavings of truffle. The ragù and nice and light and worked in harmony with the rest of the flavours which was slightly smokey. I particularly enjoyed the Sangiovese which had depth and was very smooth. I would try this wine again.



4th Course - Truffled White Chocolate Parfait

  • Truffled White Chocolate Parfait, Truffled Honeycomb, Toffee 'cage' and Quince 3 ways - Marianne Kempf - The Gala Restaurant
  • 2011 Late Harvest Viognier - Watershed Wineries

This was a nice and light dessert to finish off the lunch. The Truffled White Chocolate Parfait had strong elements of truffle and smoothness of a parfait making it the perfect combination. The toffee cage was interesting and showed technique and skill as they all looked perfect. The toffee honeycomb was very hard but I could taste the truffle. The quince added a refreshing touch to the dish. The Viognier allowed for a sweet finish to the meal.


A selection of Cheeses from European Foods

A cheese platter was supplied and shared between four people on sough dough bread from Jean Pierre Sancho. The Brie cheese with truffle was divine and made the perfect compliment to enhance the flavours of the truffle. Olive Oil by York Olive Oil was also supplied.

For all the truffle fans (or aspiring) this is a great event to check out and I am slightly disappointed for missing out on the previous five but glad to have finally had the opportunity to finally attend this event. Will definitely be back next year.
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