The 2022 Truffle season has begun and it promises to be bigger and better than before!
Winter frosts herald the start of truffle season
The 2022 truffle season has arrived on the coast and early indications are that truffle production has increased, along with interest in truffles and truffle hunts.
Truffles form in February and March and then remain unripe, under the soil until winter. When the frosts arrive, they trigger ripening of the truffle. The longer the frosts, the longer the truffle season. This is why most trufferies (truffle orchards) in Australia occur at higher altitudes.
But here on the coast, some of our valleys experience many frosts throughout winter. With heavy frosts around the foothills of Gulaga Mountain in Tilba, Alan Burdon and Fiona Kotvojs decided to create a truffiere on the family farm in 2012. Gulaga Gold was established, and the rest is history.
Gulaga Gold started commercial production in 2019, exporting to USA from 2020. Both local and international demand has grown – so much so that they are not able to fill all the orders received from UK and USA. Now that production is proven and demand established, Fiona and Alan have a vision of this area becoming known as another Australian truffle region. They are encouraging other farmers in the area to consider truffles as part of their production.
In 2021 Fiona and Alan commenced truffle hunts to enable people to experience the magic of truffles. Harvesting truffles is a delicate exercise. The truffles are located by one of the locally trained truffle dogs, and exposed to the sunlight with careful, gentle excavation with a spoon – a little like an archaeological dig. This ensures the truffle is not disturbed before confirming it is ripe. Then, lean in, breathe in. Is the truffle ripe or must it be left it undisturbed for longer? Only the nose can tell.
If the truffle is ripe, it is harvested. If not, it is carefully covered to continue ripening and the truffle hunters move on.
The truffles collected are sold locally online and to restaurants. For a precious few weeks, truffles make dining at select local restaurants from Eden to Narooma, those who know how to bring out the best that truffles have to offer, a very rewarding experience.
The aroma and flavour of truffles captures their local environment. Here this is our soil, rainforests and oceanic air, producing a high-quality truffle with a unique character.
For those who join a truffle hunt, the experience is completed with a tasting session identifying the difference in aroma between truffles from different types of trees and regions, and showcasing how truffles uniquely enhance the flavour of many foods.
The season is short – all over by early to mid August. Make the most of it while it lasts!
Explore the Eurobodalla Food TRail
Discover the fresh produce and unique flavours of Eurobodalla
You can enjoy a range of other food experiences all year round…
- Pay a visit to Batemans Bay, the heart of Australia’s Oyster coast, for the delicious food on offer at the town’s bi-monthly Sunday market.
- Pop into the Moruya Country Markets to sample the a creamy selection of Tilba Real Dairy products from the local family owned dairy farm
- Take an oyster tasting tour on board a kayak
- Learn the secrets of honey bees
- Try your hand at kelp harvesting and turn it into a delicious super food
- Make ice cream at the Bodalla Dairy Shed
Love food? Read more about the Eurobodalla Food Trail.