Sunny has sniffed out one and a half tonnes of the elusive truffle and Izzy has only managed 7kg this year. Izzy clearly needs some performance enhancement. I’m referring to the two truffle sniffing dogs that showed us their tricks at the Mundaring Truffle Festival over the weekend. These dogs, one a beagle and the other an undetermined breed walk 84km per week during peak season in their search. No need for pedigree either, any will do. Of course, pigs will do the job too The truffle is a fascinating food and the festival had much to offer with all the best restaurants and chefs in Perth cooking up dishes with a truffle twist. It is hard to describe the flavour that is truffle and I’m still unsure. I do know that the pie I ate cooked by Stephen Clarke of Clarke’s Restaurant in North Beach was delicious with its truffle shavings. There was much food to sample and cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs including Poh, Emmanuel Mollois and Alain Fabregues of the Loose Box fame. I spoke at the Festival and MC’ed a session titled ‘Telling Porkies’ with Dr Bruce Mullan, expert in pig nutrition and management and chef Hadleigh Troy of Restaurant Amuse?. It was reassuring to discover that all fresh pork we buy in Australia is in fact Australian. And yes, we did chat about how to make the best pork crackling ever but maybe we shouldn’t go into that here. Truffles are elusive in more ways than one. There is very little information available on their nutritional value but given that they are a fungi, they are likely to be quite similiar to the mushroom family. They are also reportedly high in protein, however now that I have seen how they are served in teeny, tiny shavings and skerricks, the nutrition value doesn’t seem so important. Plus, with a price tag of up to $3000 per kg eating too much is unlikely.
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