This year, Eric and I were lucky enough to attend the Truffle Heaven exhibition at Caulfield Racecourse, as part of Truffle Melbourne 2014. On show was a range of delicious menu items, truffle-based ingredients, and innovations from some of Victoria’s premier food producers, restaurants and truffiers (that’s a truffle farmer, for those of us new to the truffle game).
Excited to dig in, we made our way inside (via a sample of chili, truffle oil and parmesan penne, with extra shaved black truffles, and a rich, truffly potato and leek soup). Stepping into the main exhibition area, my nostrils were immediately filled with that pungent, earthy scent so distinct to the truffle. Like in the cartoons, we floated from stall to stall, literally figuratively hanging on wafting scent.
Among the various samples we tried, there were some classics, and some surprising favourites.
The piadina from Pot and Pan was a simple assortment of some quality ingredients, and a generous shaving of fresh truffle. In combination with the delicious, melted raclette, the truffle was the star.
The guys at Peter Bouchier know their meats, and as unabashed carnivores we couldn’t go past the wagyu and truffle burger. On this one the truffle played a surprisingly sophisticated second fiddle, complimenting the rich, caramelised flavours in the wagyu.
But if I could go back for seconds of any of the foods we tried (and believe me, I did!), it would have to be the simplicity of truffle butter on bread. We found one producer making butter with 12% truffle, as well as truffle oils, salts, and other delicacies. There was something about the creamy richness of the butter that really held onto the truffly aroma better than anything else we tried.
If you’re a fan of truffles, or you are looking to step up your foodie game, check out the other events going on at Truffle Melbourne. You won’t be disappointed.
Article & Photos by Juan Ojeda
A master of smoked meat and Will Smith lyrics, Juan’s love of food is followed closely by his love of photography. He still hasn’t forgiven other guest author Eric for losing that memory card full of pictures from Sails on the Bay.