Tasmanian Truffles

In our restaurant guide A Food Lovers Guide to Tasmania, the 1998 edition did not have a single mention of truffles because none had been harvested in the state at that time. However our 2000 edition did report on the success that the Terry family was having on their farm near Deloraine.

In that edition’s introduction we said:

In late June and early July 1999, several kilograms of truffles were located by a specially-trained dog at a farm near Deloraine. More than 60,000 hazelnut trees have been planted and injected with truffle spores in various locations around the state and this was the first sign of the elusive fungi. Here’s hoping that it develops into a viable industry and that, if it does, it will be possible to enjoy at least some of the crop in Tasmania.

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane A Food Lovers Guide to Tasmania 2000

It was also in 2008 that we read of an exhibition that had been on public display at Yale University the year before based around two stone tablets written in the Akkadian cuneiform script from the era of Hammurabi (approx 1750 BCE) that documented recipes used in his palace – in fact they represented an early cookbook. The interesting thing about these tablets were that they described the ingredients used in the recipes and one was clearly truffles! So truffles had been exploited in the Middle East for thousands of years before they became popular in the West.

As we learned more about truffles we also realised that Perigord was not necessarily the best place for truffles in France, but rather the area on the northern slopes of Mont Ventoux around the village of Richerences (where you can enjoy a truffle-laden omelette for around 15 euros) was where many of France’s leading chefs sourced their truffles.

The dog that sniffed out those truffles in 1999 was owned by Tim and Adele Terry, farmers near Deloraine who harvested that first truffle after researching and trialling plantings of the black gold for 7 years previously.

Hazelnut trees at the Terry orchard near Deloraine
Freshly dug truffles at the Terry property

They have now largely handed over operation of their farm to their children Henry and Anna who manage the property and who run the weekly stall at Salamanca Market in season.

If you want to read a serious book about how to use truffles then look no further than Rodney Dunn’s The Truffle Cookbook which canvases the many, many ways in which truffles can be used.

Additional information

Street: 844 Mole Creek Rd

Town/Suburb: Deloraine, 7304

Phone number: +61 437 636 361

Open: Salamanca Market on Saturday mornings during the truffle season