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All the resources you might need to learn more about the remarkable Australian truffle growing industry

Experience truffles

Writing about Truffles?

We realise you are on your usual deadline, so a Google search and cut and paste is your prime research tool.  Which is fine if you understand what you’re talking about, but if you haven’t tried eating truffles and have been given wildly different information to make sense of, it is hard.

If that’s you, this page is here to help. 

We’ve seen lots of stories where we thought we’d shared the right information, but it gets mangled on publication and laughed at.

A mention of, and link to, the Australian Truffle Growers Association website is all we’d like in return, especially for online stories. 
While we will occasionally wax lyrical about this product we love, this page is concise as we can make it. There are some expandable sections with links to other material if you need it.

We are acutely aware that information you need is different from someone writing in Europe where truffles have been part of their culture and a seasonal produce for centuries (but even their media get it confused as well.) In Australia, where this is a relatively new agricultural crop, the first inoculated tree plantings were in 1995 in Tasmania with the first truffles found three to four years later, but it was almost ten years before good commercial quantities were harvested.

Main Truffle Types

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If it is a cold autumn, the black truffle season in Australia can start in late May. The black truffles get blacker and more pungent in June but are almost always finished by September. One week you can get them and the next they’ve all gone. Gasp!

It’s seems a bit silly to call this truffle Perigord or French in a country where the consumers don’t know or care that much about identifying it as from France, and it is now cultivated in so many other places. 

There is some agitation to just drop that and call our truffles Australian black truffles and fall back to the genus name Tuber melanosporum vitt when entering it on the export documents. 

You pronounce melanosporum just as you’d expect, mellah-no-spore-um. Sounds delicious doesn’t it?
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Slightly less favoured for culinary use are Summer truffles Tuber aestivum. It sells for less but is available when the black isn’t. 

In Europe when it is ripe in late autumn, it’s know as Tuber uncinatum or Burgundy truffle. Then it develops a stronger flavour and is well regarded.

You pronounce aestivum, as es-STEVE-um and uncinatum OON-see-nah-tum. Or UN-see-nah-tum.

Both of the these varieties are the same species. 

You will start to see these increasingly on the market but it still has to find its own value, usually much less than the black truffle. They are growing in some older truffiéres as an unwanted contaminant before growers had access to DNA testing of their seedlings
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Bianchetto – the ‘lesser white’ truffle Tuber Borchii, has many small plantings but is still to produce commercial quantities. 

Its commercial value is lower than the large white Magnatum truffle and its aroma is initially more delicate and pleasant, but over time becomes stronger and more garlicky. 

The harvest period in Australia is after the black truffle season finishes gives it its own space in the market, but one that will require another education process as Australian chefs and consumers learn to use them.

The name Bianchetto is pronounced BEE-AN-Ketto. Borchii is pronounced Borky and it is traditionally inoculated on Stone Pine trees. That means if you can beat the cockatoos to them, they will produce high value pine nuts as an extra income for the growers.

Australian Truffle Facts & Figures

Best estimates.

Our role as the representative body for the Truffle Industry comes with some special responsibilities to represent small growers who aren’t members for various reasons. We’ve had to use many different sources to assemble this data every year.

In 2020 we estimate we’ll be producing in excess of 20,000kg in Australia.

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Say truffière
Correct spelling and pronunciation of  key words
Truffière the French name for a place where truffles are grown. 

It is pronounced TRUE-fee-air. 

If you can’t find the grave è in Word or the sub-editor scoffs at talking French, it is ok to write it ‘truffiere’ or call it a truffle orchard, or truffle patch. 

But there’s no such word as ‘truffery’ or ‘trufferie’ in any dictionary.

The person who grows them, is in French, a truffier without an accented e, pronounced TRUE-fee-er. 

We call each other truffle growers.
Go on a truffle hunt
Fun, educational, and and experience you'll never forget.
Even if you can’t get a chance before your deadline, do it sometime anyway, and take your children. 

This is the best way to learn about how truffles grow, how hard it is to find them, what they smell like (and the soil around them). 

Many growers use the truffle hunts as an extra income stream and enjoy sharing their knowledge and demonstrating their dog handling skills. 

They often have a small truffle tasting, and since it’s cold, soup with truffle is popular or bread and truffled brie cheese. 

Look for growers that keep you in a small group so you can ask questions, get down and smell, and some even let you help dig out a truffle. 

Usually they have enough that they can sell you a truffle or truffle pieces, or even truffle products such as truffle infused eggs to take home.

Some of our media coverage

  • May 2018
  • May 2018
  • June 2013
  • January 2021
  • June 2019
  • April 2018
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2019
  • June 2013
  • January 2015
  • December 2017
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