When I invited the Mr to accompany me on The Truffle Shuffle at the South Melbourne Market this weekend his initial reaction was “Awesome, I love The Goonies!” Well, while 80’s movie fans may be a little disappointed at the lack of pirate ships and a rocking soundtrack featuring Cyndi Lauper, they will certainly enjoy a culinary adventure collecting edible treasures (with their very own map), around the South Melbourne Market.
During July the South Melbourne Market are are making it easy to create your own delicious truffle dinner party with their annual Truffle Shuffle. It all kicks off at Georgie’s Harvest on the Coventry Street side of the Market. When you arrive you pick up your truffle starter kit which includes recipes, a list of ingredients and a map. You decide how many dishes you’d like to cook and then you do the Truffle Shuffle through the Market to collect all the ingredients. It’s so much fun, just like a treasure hunt.
To celebrate the lunch of truffle season, we had the pleasure of doing The Truffle Shuffle with Georgie from Georgie’s Harvest as our personal guide.
Before the tour officially kicked off I had my first ever taste of a real black truffle. We learnt about how to use them (they love butter, creamy cheese and eggs) and how to store them (in paper in an airtight container). Georgie had prepared a wheel of brie a few days before by slicing it in half and shaving truffle in the middle, the rich flavour then permeates through the cheese. It’s quite a treat.
What did it taste like? It’s quite subtle but distinctive at the same time. The texture reminded me of a walnut as did some of the nutty flavour. It had an earthy scent and also had aroma of the mould that coats soft cheese, but not quite as strong.
To start The Truffle Shuffle, we each received a tote bag with recipes and ingredients, as well as the star of the show, our very own Australian black truffle. Ours were from Manjimup Western Australia, now sitting at 4th highest producer in the world behind France Italy and nipping at the heels of Spain. Georgie’s Harvest also stocks Forrest Truffles from the Otways in Victoria and Tamar Valley Truffles from Tasmania.
Then we were off around the market, with our list of ingredient. It was a great opportunity to meet the local stall holders and have a chat about their produce.
We collected witlof and fennel, honey, bread and nuts. There was a pit-stop to enjoy some oysters before collecting our scallops for one of the dishes. Then it was time to pick up some cheese.
After the truffle quest, it was time to enjoy a delicious clam chowder (seasoned with truffles of course) and a glass of wine at Claypots Evening Star.
Now I’ve got all the ingredients to make several easy and delicious dishes featuring truffles. I can’t wait to give them a try, especially making my very own Runny Cheese and Truffle Bake and Crushed Potatoes with Truffle Butter.
You don’t have to be a hardcore ‘foodie’ to give cooking with truffles a try, it’s certainly not as intimidating as I thought. The price of your Truffle Shuffle will depend on the weight of truffle and ingredients you choose. This little guy weighs about 20g and costs around $45 but will go a very long way. Not the prettiest to look at but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
So now that The Truffle Shuffle is done, I’m going to enjoy my truffle cheese and dust off that old VHS tape of The Goonies.
The Truffle Shuffle
Where: South Melbourne Market, Georgie’s Harvest
When: All of July, anytime during market hours Fri 8am – 5pm, Wed, Sat & Sun 8am – 4pm