Appreciating Eastern Australia’s Dark, Rich Truffles
Truffles will always be a refined and exclusive foodstuff. This is why they are known colloquially as Black Diamonds.
In an effort to more effectively bring this exquisite product to market, we have united our 10 family truffieres (or truffle farms) to form the Eastern Australian Tablelands Truffles Cooperative (EAT Truffles). Sharing resources and a common and rigorous set of standards, we now bring this amazing product to market in a more cost effective and timely manner than ever before.
Other truffieres are also welcome to join us if they are willing to agree to our stringent quality assurance and operational standards.
Whether we are delivering to your restaurant or your residence, you can be assured you are receiving a product of international standing and quality. We do not say this lightly!
Why Eastern Australian Truffles Really Are That Good
It takes many years for a truffle farm to produce high quality truffles of a relatively consistent yield (seasonal weather variations permitting). Only then is it safe to take your produce to market. For this reason we’re entering the market a little later than other regions, but we’re already hearing from chef’s – professional and amateur – that we’re delivering an exquisite product.
Here, in specific tableland regions of Eastern Australia, we enjoy a Mediterranean climate that closely matches the production areas of Europe. We also apply land management practices similar to those adopted in Europe, where the original home of the black truffle (T melanosporum) is found. This produces product on par with with the best of Europe’s Truffiere high achievers.
What gives our truffles an edge in Australia, is that we enjoy a cool, temperate and alpine climate. This means our mild to warm summers are followed by cold winters, with an average winter minimum of 0°C to -5°C, and heavy frosts.
When you want to grow truffles, these are the conditions you need!
The Eastern Australian Tablelands Truffles Cooperative was created by a dozen or so growers who wanted to bring the best quality possible to the Australian market. What we discovered was the capacity to create a genuinely international standard truffle. We want our customers to have the best possible experience, and of course, we want our amazing product be known. Appropriately, this abbreviated nicely to an EAT Truffle acronym.
Superior Flavour, Fully Classed, Delivered Fast at a Fair Price
Our genuinely ideal climate conditions, when combined with our quality assurance and operational standards, result in:
- Superior flavour and aroma,
- A stringently classified product,
- Fast delivery, and
- A fair price
You can purchase your adventure online and receive your truffles packed for longevity and pleasure.
When you open the package, the aroma will wash over you and embrace you, and inspire you to action.
Flavour and Aroma Equal to our Famous French Cousins
The French Black Truffle is famous the world over, however the Eastern Australian Truffle is its genuine peer. In a blind test, few, if any would determine the difference. And there is a good reason for this.
The quality of a truffle is derived not from its nation of origin, but the specific soil and climate in which it is grown. This is why the most famous producers of European truffles are locations where soil quality is high (particularly in regards to pH levels), where the winters are cold and frosts are a climatic normality. The Perigord region of France, the Italian Alps, and Teruel in Eastern Spain all experience these conditions.
The marketing value when you place “French” at the start of your product is significant. Images of fine dining at an alfresco Paris restaurant are conjured in our minds. Brilliant chefs, champagne, cheeses and even the Eiffel Tower in the background can all be called into play. However, Australians are famous the world over for believing in a ’fair go’ and ’playing with a straight bat’, and we believe in naming what we produce correctly.
The fact is that beyond its marketing value, the distinction between locations is largely irrelevant – unless of course you are considering geographic and climate conditions.
The Eastern Australian Truffle is not the poorer cousin of their better-known French peer. They are genuine equals. A truffle from France is called a ‘French Truffle’, whilst a truffle from Eastern Australia is called an ‘Eastern Australian Truffle’.
We encourage you to approach our truffles with the same expectations you would a truffle imported from France, Italy or Spain. We are absolutely certain you will not be disappointed!
A Fully Classed Product
When you purchase truffles from us, you can be confident in the consistency and specifics of your purchase. We follow a UN Standards guide that has been embraced and published by the Australian Truffle Growers Association. We are all long-standing members of this association.Truffles are sold by class and weight. There are three classes, known as Extra Class, Class 1 and Class 2. The variables that are assessed when classifying each truffle include:
- Gleba (flesh)
- Colour (maturity or ripeness)
- Freedom from defects or crevices
- Pest damage
Slight defects or discolouration will see a truffle downgraded to a Class 1 status. Those which are particularly small, irregular in shape, or perhaps have a wormhole or some other aesthetic failure, are likely to become Class 2.
It is worth noting that many chefs are happy to use Class 2 truffles because though they may not look as pleasant, and may well be inappropriate for shaving at a restaurant table, they offer a cost saving whilst still enhancing flavour just as effectively.
For truffles, beauty really is more than skin deep!
Fast and Specialised Delivered
Eastern Australian truffles, like truffles the world over, have a post-harvesting shelf life of 14 to 21 days. They must be stored and transported in a particular and timely manner. Navigating these challenges successfully are critical factors for those who wish to benefit from the potential they offer.
Our practice therefore, is to have no more than three days pass from harvesting to delivery, thus ensuring the optimal opportunity for you to indulge those taste buds.
A Fair Price
Though truffles ‘thrive’ in our East Australian tableland climate, ‘thriving’ In the context of truffle farming is not the mass produced harvesting you might expect.
There are few economies of scale available to growers, and there are no shortcuts. successfully growing these delicacies requires both devotion and significant risk. Every year is different, the output from every tree is different, and the science upon which its growth is based is profound.
Truffle growers must plant substantial quantities of oak trees or hazelnut bushes as only particular flora create the growth condition necessary. They must also exercise significant and ongoing labour and expense to maintain tree health and soil quality, and they spend each hour knowing that their significant efforts can come to nothing if the weather does not support them.
Aaah, but when it does … 🙂
This is not farming for the light-hearted. It is arduous and constant, coming to a peak during the crisp and at times cutting cold of the mid-June to late August period. This is harvest time.
Assuming there is a successful harvest, the yield from any particular tree can vary from 10g to a kilo. It’s not a large amount when you picture it.
When this harvesting occurs, specially trained dogs are used to identify locations where farmers can dig, and then the delicate process of location, inspection and harvesting takes place.
We spend a great many hours on our hands and knees, delicately excavating around the base of our trees, with a care and precision not unlike what you would see on an archaeological dig. What we find must be checked for ripeness, and if not yet ready for harvesting, left, covered and rechecked at a later time. If harvested too early, not only do they lose their dark colouring, but the shelf life, pungent aroma and culinary potential is significantly damaged.
We share all this with you to help you appreciate the reason why prices vary from season to season, and so that you might appreciate why they are the price they are.
Our goal is to always be fair in our pricing. We have also developed strict classification, storage, transport and business practices supporting this. Our prices and latest harvest information can be found here.
Purchasing Eastern Australian Truffles
Truffles were at one-time a pleasure reserved only for the wealthy. Due to their limited supply, as well as the considerable challenges involved in harvesting them, they will never be a part of every household’s diet. Nevertheless, they are an investment in culinary pleasure, and even for those who cannot afford a lifestyle of such indulgence, special occasions can be magnificently enhanced with only a slight stretch of the average budget.
If you have a question or would like to learn more, call 0497 783 053 to speak to a Truffle-Farming-Devotee. Alternatively, you can use the Request Contact Form on site. We know the art and if you ask a question we cannot answer, we will be greatly surprised. We work passionately to deliver consistent standards and we serve you with confidence.
To inspect the class and pricing options available to you click the button below. Adventure awaits!