The challenge of including fresh truffle in a menu can be daunting with the price of the truffle, the limited shelf life and the uncertaininty over the likely response to this new and exciting addition to Australian cuisine. To assist, the Truffle Festival has prepared a guide to Using Truffles for anyone wanting to include truffle as part of their seasonal culinary treat. Remember that Australia does not have a culture of truffle, as part of the cuisine, and the best way to introduce it to new customers is fresh and highly visible, where they can see the truffle and savour the aroma and taste, initialy on simple dishes.
There are many different varieties of truffle but the black or Perigord truffle (Tuber melanosporum), is currently grown in the northern hemisphere (Europe and America), and more recentlyis being cultivated in Australia, New Zealand and Chile. Truffle growing in the southern hemisphere was started in New Zealand in the late 1980s as a government initiative and was quickly followed by work in Tasmania. The industry in Chile is in its very early stages. The major attraction of growing truffles in the southern hemisphere is to supply the ready established markets of Europe and America, during their off season, and to supply the rising markets of Southeast Asia. A big responsibility of the Association is to see the market for truffles is reliably supplied with high quality produce that will compete with other international suppliers. It is also our objective to grow the market in Australia, which has a recent history of enthusiastically embracing new foods. For more information on these elusive fungi please read Truffles – Myth and Magic