Nature’s Black Gold: The Truffle
Truffle, one of Chef Danny Natoli’s favourite seasonal ingredients. Their distinctively earthy, umami flavour is found in all manner of dishes, from humble to sublime, savory to sweet, and is considered the pinnacle of cool weather gastronomy in Italy (and beyond).
Right now you’ll find freshly harvested Victorian Truffles popping up on the menu at La Madonna, sourced from Mornington Peninsula, Gippsland and beyond, with interstate and some imported varieties making their appearance at other times of the year.
What is a Truffle?
- Technically a mushroom, a Truffle is a tube mushroom without a cap or stem. Found in shallow soil, they are a fungus that grows in damp, frosty conditions near certain hardwood trees, like Oak, Hazelnut and Chestnut.
- The variety we tend to see most of in Australia is the Black Truffle grown mostly in Western Australia and Victoria, or they may use imported truffle at other times of the year.
- Less common is the White Truffle, imported mostly from Italy.
What do Truffles taste like?
- Aromatic, savoury and delicious, heavy in Umami, and with a scent so powerful, only a small shaving is needed to work their magic on a dish.
Why are Truffles so expensive?
We have found a great video that explains this very question. Check it out below.