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A festival feast of fragrant fruiting fungus
Learn About Cooking With Truffles From Celebrity Chefs
Wikipedia describes truffles as the fruiting body of a subterranean Ascomycete fungus, but somehow that doesn't quite do them justice. From a gastronomic perspective, truffles are highly sought after, elusive and exotic delicacies. Truffles have been used as food for over 4,000 years, but surged in popularity from the 18th century in Europe. Even then they were rare and expensive.
For many years France was the main source for truffles, but since the 1990's truffles have been grown successfully in Australia. We now produce around 8 tons annually in Australia, although a significant part of the crop is exported overseas.
Find a Tasty Truffles Recipe at Adelaide Central Market
Fortunately all is not lost for truffle aficionados, as enough of the crop has been saved to savour the special sensation of Australian truffles at our very own Truffle Adelaide festival. After the success of the inaugural truffle festival in Adelaide in 2015, Truffle Adelaide is returning for another four day fungal frenzy at Adelaide Central Market. The best truffle festivals around the world showcase the truffle partnered with local food and drink, and where better than Adelaide's Central Market to do this in South Australia?
Truffle Adelaide is a four day festival for this fragrant fruiting fungus, from Thursday June 30 to Sunday July 3. The festival climaxes with a gourmet Grand Truffle Lunch, but there's lots of excitement in the leadup to the lunch.
Celebrity Chef Cooking Demonstrations With Simon Bryant
A selection of celebrity chefs will be holding cooking demonstrations at the Adelaide Central Market showing the best way to use truffles. There's no point tossing these earthy little critters in with your bacon and eggs for brunch when one can learn to truly appreciate their fine flavours. Come along to the Central Market during the Truffle Festival, and become a truffle expert in your own right after seeing these celebrity chef cooking demonstrations.
Here are just some of the celebrity chefs that you can expect to find cooking the finest Australian truffles at the market until Saturday:
Lead chef: Simon Bryant (does he ever take a break?)
Eddie Ye, Yakitori Takumi
Tom Reid, Coriole
Nick Filsell, Lost in a Forest (formerly at Jamie's and Red Ochre)
Brad Sappenberghs, Comida Catering Co
Many market stalls will be selling a delicious range of truffle goodies to help you enjoy your new kitchen skills. For starters you'll find triple cream truffle Brie, truffle salami (Sevenhill Fine Food), truffle pate (Barossa Fine Foods) and your choice of truffle honey or truffle popcorn (Mushroom Man). Other market stalls will offer ingredients including truffle oils, truffle salt, or even preserved truffles
If cooking isn't really your thing, Adelaide Central Market cafes will be tempting you with affordable truffle dishes on the menu from Thursday through Saturday. You might need to arrive early because I suspect there will be quite a queue of snouts for the truffle trough. At Le Souk you'll enjoy truffle couscous with spinach, taste truffle paella at Comida, or treat yourself to a complete truffle breakfast at Big Table or T Bar.
Truffle Adelaide's Grand Truffle Luncheon on Sunday July 3 is the pièce de résistance though. Chef Stuart Oldfield has truly excelled himself with the menu:
Confit Pork Belly, crackling, truffles apple, parsnip and celeriac slaw
Gouger of Fromage D'Affinois and fresh truffle
Consommé of roasted free range chicken, truffle and buttered leek ravioli, boudin blanc
Aged Shiraz braised beef cheek, truffled pommel puree, black garlic and carrots (served with truffled green beans with pine nuts and burnt butter, house made wholemeal, truffle bread and truffle butter)
Honey poached pear, truffled crème fraise mousse, quince and almonds
Finding Australian Truffles
It will certainly be easier to find the $175pp (plus booking fee) than it is to find fresh Australian truffles in the wild. After eating such a fabulous feast full of fruiting fungi, connoisseurs should consider taking a fungi walk, or even listen to fungi talk.
The Truffle Adelaide website is being updated at the time of writing, but will soon contain a full feed on all the fun things to do for Truffle Adelaide. You should book early (from June 15) for the Truffle Lunch as I'm sure there will be a frenzy of truffle fans wanting to enjoy the experience after last year's Truffle Festival in Adelaide.
All photos supplied by Truffle Adelaide and Adelaide Central Market.