Ten things you didn’t know about truffles

Here are some fascinating facts about the truffles that everyone of us should know:

  1. Did you know truffles are the fruiting body of an underground fungus? Much like an underground mushroom, truffles have spores and form a mutually beneficial or symbiotic relationship with a host tree.
  2. “Truffles are a glutamate, hence their added ability to enhance flavour.” – Wayne Haslam, Blue Frog Truffles
  3. “Most people don’t realise that black truffles go really well in sweet dishes where they take on a cocoa vanilla flavour, especially with any desserts containing dairy and eggs.” – Rodney Dunn, The Agrarian Kitchen
  4.  “There are thousands of native truffles in Australia but few are of culinary value.” – Wayne Haslam, Blue Frog Truffles
  5. The most prized species of Australian native truffles in culinary circles is the Black Winter Truffle also known as Perigord Truffle. These grow best with host trees like oaks and hazelnuts.
  6. “The Canberra region is home to more than 80 native species of native truffle.” – Wayne Haslam, Blue Frog Truffles
  7. “Interestingly, truffles require the ground temperatures to drop to a certain level a number of times just before they ripen. In our region this temperature drop results from frosts and about six decent frosts are necessary to really bring the truffles to maturity.” – Christine and Allan, Pankhurst Wines
  8. The truffles give the tree nutrients from the soil and in return receive sugars to help with growth. Truffle spores are spread when animals that can smell the aroma dig up and eat the fruiting body.
  9. “There has never been a recorded allergy to truffles.” – Wayne Haslam, Blue Frog Truffles
  10. The truffles mature over the 12 weeks of Australia’s winter but only remain fresh in the ground for 12 days. Finding the right truffle and digging it up is all about the timing – and a good truffle dogs’ nose.