Truffles are not just for culinary elitists and food wankers. That was hopefully the message put across by Slow Food Perth’s down the road lunch at this years Mundaring Truffle Festival held a few weeks back. Of course if you call yourself a culinary elitist or frequently get called a food wanker, then you’ll also fit right in.
Being a Slow Food Perth member, and sometime committee meeting attendee, I was very proud to see such a great response to the lunch from people of all walks of life, interested in trying some truffles for themselves in a setting that isn’t necessarily anything to do with haute cuisine.
Slow Food Chef extraordinaire Vincenzo Velletri once again crafted a simple, honest, but delicious meal based around the now famous Manjimup Black Truffles, which the festival celebrates. We started with truffled bacalau (salt cod) balls, then bruschetta with truffled mushrooms and roast capsicum, moving onto an epic truffle (stirred by these very arms) risotto with shavings of fresh truffle over the top.
The main dish for the day was a whole wood oven roasted pig, boned out and stuffed with herbs and more truffle shavings. It was served with oven roasted potatoes, mushrooms, and a roast capsicum salad. A truffle sauce, a sprig of rosemary, and another good shaving of fresh truffle over the top completed things.
Finally poached pears with a berry sauce and truffled cream finish what was a wonderful meal. Though not one I actually could partake in. As a committee member I was up the back, stirring risotto, shaving truffle, taking photos, getting in peoples way, and generally making a nuisance of myself. Whilst this mean I couldn’t sit down and enjoy the meal in the comfort of the marquee, what it did let me do was create the mother of all staff lunches.
A thick piece of fresh bread, layered with roast pork, crackling, truffled gravy, and shaved black truffle over the top. Not too shabby a snack by any stretch of the imagination, and perhaps one of my favourite truffle experiences to date.
It was a great day, and thanks to the many volunteers it came together nicely. Overall I was very impressed with the whole festival, which to me did a lot to further the appreciation of truffles and the burgeoning industry in WA around them, to the general community. There were many options over the course of the weekend for people to smell, touch, and taste truffles in a way that didn’t cost them the earth. Be it a truffle risotto or a pizza with truffle shavings.
It’s definitely the kind of event I enjoy going to, In a beautiful setting up in the hills with locals and travelers all enjoying something new and different.
Make sure you book your tickets for next years lunch, and make time to check out the festival yourself. Also do check out Aun’s fantastic blog over at Chubby Hubby. He’s based in Singapore and made it down to the truffle festival recently too. His photos and words are a wonderful summation of the event.