New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Join a hunt and taste the rewards between June & August
The Truffle Farm is Canberra's only trufferie, located at Majura, 20 minutes north of the city. Visitors can join truffle hunts to find the elusive black Perigord truffles grown in this unique location and have a taste afterwards to experience this expensive delicacy. Between June and August, meet their team of dogs who track them down and learn more about the unique type of fungi that lives below the ground. Canberra is the ideal location to find the Perigord truffles (or black truffles), as it has the same climatic conditions as the world famous truffle regions in France. The Perigord Truffle in particular is named after the Périgord region in France and grows beneath oak and hazelnut trees in the right conditions. The Truffle Farm in Majura has over 3,000 oak trees on site - the perfect environment for this "black gold" to grow.
Why not book a Truffle Hunt or stay longer to enjoy a Truffle Breakfast, Lunch or High Tea created by award-winning Michelin Star Chef Damian Brabender.
Owner Jayson Mesman, born and raised in Canberra, began the truffle farm out of an unique connection he has with his dog Samson. Whilst living in Perth a number of years ago, Jayson met the energetic black Labrador and they formed a strong connection. Jayson knows a special dog when he sees one, having trained law enforcement dogs for 12 years. Both Jayson and Samson were then invited to The Wine and Truffle Company, the world's largest producing truffle farm, to see if they could make it as a truffle hunting team. With instant success they never looked back. Their connection brought them back to Jayson's home city - the perfect place to open up their own truffle farm and share this experience with others.
Jayson and Samson. Source: The Truffle Farm Facebook
Alongside Samson, meet Simba, Nala, Willow, Bear and Max who will take you on the hunt, through a forest of oak trees in search for the elusive truffle. These talented dogs have been handpicked by Jayson for their high energy and a natural tracking instinct. Labradors are commonly used because they can be trained to smell out the pungency of a ripe truffle, however Jayson has trained his Kelpie Max to do the same.
Pigs were traditionally used to sniff out the truffles in Europe, however The Truffle Farm prefers to hunt with dogs rather than pigs as they simply don't eat them afterwards. Dogs will track down a truffle in a game of hide and seek and then get a stick, food or a hug in return - whichever is their motivation. In comparison, The Truffle Farms two pigs Winnie and Piglet, if they got the chance, would most certainly knock down anything in their way to get their snout on the delicious Perigord truffle and then eat the lot.
Who me? Source: The Truffle Farm Facebook
The Winning Team. Source: The Truffle Farm Facebook
In 2015 The Truffle Farm played host to royalty, with the Duchess of Cornwall and the international media coming to learn more about truffles and be dined by Executive Chef, Damian Brabender. During his career, Damian has received seven Michelin stars at restaurants across the globe and is now concentrating his career on the truffle, a prized possession to lure out the delicate flavour with skill and finesse.
The Royal visit, 2015. Source: The Truffle Farm Facebook
During the 2016 truffle season there are a number of options to choose from to enjoy this tantalising experience. If you are interested in the truffle hunt only you can join a hunt for $65 per person, $30 children under 15. Learn about the history of the farm and the background of the method of hunting truffles. Watch the truffle dogs in action and learn how unearth and handle them, before they are sent to Australia's top restaurants. At the end of the hunt you can taste a truffle and see what the attraction is for this unique fungus. See here for details and bookings.
If you would like to warm up back in the Truffle Shed, stay for a three course Truffle Breakfast created by Chef Damian Brabender for $125 per person, including the hunt. Damian will surprise visitors with his creativity of what he can do with the truffle, drawing out its flavour in delicious breakfast fare.
After the hunt if you would prefer to stay for Truffle Lunch, stay to enjoy a six course truffle lunch menu, with truffle delicacies and local wines that are sure to delight for $185 per person, including the hunt. Sit back and relax and be wined and dined in this scenic farm location.
On the Queens Birthday Long weekend there is a High Tea to enjoy after a one hour truffle hunt. For $130 per person, watch a cooking demonstration and enjoy the High Tea served with sparkling wine and a selection of T2 teas. Sit back and enjoy a range of black truffle sweet and savoury petites and savour this unique flavour brought to life. See all the 2016 details here.
High Tea at The Truffle Farm. Source: The Truffle Farm Facebook
During the truffle season you can also buy truffle produce at The Pantry, including truffle brie, butter, icecream, sausages and oils. Perhaps stock up a picnic basket and set out for a memorable picnic for two.
To keep track of all the action this truffle season, see The Truffle Farm Facebook page for the latest photos and finds. Many find Canberra's winters particularly chilly, however it is this very climate that creates these highly prized delicacies. As well as the Truffle Farm, there will also be truffle events held throughout the region for the Truffle Festival 2016. With so much to enjoy in the Canberra region during Winter, why not book a Truffle Hunt and watch these amazing truffle hunting dogs in action.