Canberra, the capital of Australia, about 275km away from Sydney, is
notorious for its cold nights, even during summer. In addition, it gets as many as 10 times the frosty mornings as Tasmania. This makes it a good region for truffle growing and a few good wineries.
We attended a truffle hunt with Turalla Truffle (http://www.turallatruffles.com.au/ ) on a wet Saturday. Their farm was a little to wet to attend and we went to one of their acquaintance’s farm at Tarago, run by Denzel. Denzel has been a farmer for more than 60 years.
All these years, we see the exit sign for Tarago on the way to Canberra and have been calling it Ta – Rar – Go as in the Toyota MPV. But the locals call it Te – re – go.
The truffle section of the farm was fenced off and quarantined. Before entering our boots were cleaned with a chloride solution. The week had been raining so we brought along snow boots, gum boots, snow jackets etc, including a plastic bag wrapped around the camera lens to keep the light drizzle out.
Denzel’s dogs were rescued from the pound when they were 6 months old and they love to hunt even in the rain.
The dogs can smell them out and then you have to be on your knees to dig out the truffle and smell them to ensure they are mature. The first one smelled of beetroot.
The second one smelled of peanut.
The dog getting a high five for the good work.
The third truffle smelled of wasabi of all things.
After the hunt, we were treated to some truffle infused vodka. This brought the warmth back.
We were also treated to some delicious home cooked cauliflower soup with generous portions of truffle.
By lunch time, we visited the vineyard at Lark Hill and their restaurant.
Scrambled eggs on toast with truffle.
For some reason, the mains came out very late and after some complaint. It happened to 2 other tables as well. Our mains were mushroom risotto and sous vide lamb loin. The mushrooms complimented with more truffles. The lamb was perfectly cooked.
As a consolation, we were provided complimentary dessert wine from the vineyard. This definitely made up for the disappointing delay and the crème brulee was fantastic.
Canberra was only about 40 minutes away so we ducked in to see the Turner exhibition at the National Art Gallery.