As the sun sinks towards its winter solstice, and frosts leave their shimmering artwork on our oaks and hazels, in the ground beneath, our truffles begin to ripen. Their earthy aroma requires more than our noses to detect them beneath centimeters of soil so, as mankind has done for millennia, we turn to animals to do what we can not – in our case dogs.
The excitement of the hunt can be yours to enjoy, together with the very special pleasure that is to be found in the taste of this gourmet delight. See how this experience can be yours...
How it works
Fiona or Alan will meet you at the highway and lead you on a drive past farms and through the Kooraban (meaning Koala) and Gulaga National Parks. You will see areas devastated by the Black Summer Fires, and compare these to those that were untouched.
Upon arrival at the secret location you will be led through a briefing on truffle lore, the history of hunting, the different ways of hunting truffles and you will receive tips as to how to end the visit with a good haul.
You will join forces with a trained Truffle Dog and its handler. This is the first year when most of our dogs have worked with groups. Please do not pet the dog or show it undue attention lest it lose interest in the hunt in favour of ball throwing or similar pursuits.
The dog will scan the rows, either by sniffing the air or the ground. If it notes the scent of a truffle it will indicate the spot without disturbing the soil. It will then be rewarded by its trainer. Each dog has a different reward, depending on its preferences.
You will be invited to smell and then gently remove the soil under which the truffle is hiding. Truffles are very sensitive creatures and, if disturbed while not yet fully ripe, will go into a sulk and offer no more enjoyment of their bounty.
When the truffle is found, a good sniff will tell you if it is prepared to sacrifice itself for our pleasure. That being the case it can be prised gently from its bed, popped into a bag and labelled.
If it does not seem ready to be disturbed, we will gently cover it up and place a marker and return later.
When our hunt is completed you will be shown how the truffles are treated after capture in order to maximise their beauty and value. You will get to sample their splendid and unique flavour in a range of foods. Purchase a truffle you find or one of the various truffle products made from our truffles.