The precious little balls of underground fungi are starting to ripen and be discovered by truffle dogs throughout our region. Canterbury has more truffle growers and truffles than anywhere else in New Zealand, and the biggest collection of them is in my region, North Canterbury.
This is recognised during the Canterbury Truffle Festival, which is happens from 15th to 30th of July. It’s a food and wine event which celebrates the coming of age of the New Zealand truffle business. It has become one of New Zealand’s premier gourmet experiences, and compliments the increasing focus on this region for premium food and wine.
The truffle season itself is much longer than this, particularly at Limestone Hills where they grow four different types of truffle, extending the season throughout most of the year. Watching Rosie the Beagle hunt for truffles is one of my favourite parts of the Wild Food and Winery Tour. Rosie invariably gets distracted by the hazelnuts which have fallen from the trees the truffles grow under. Just as all seems lost, she’ll remind you why she’s one of the best in the business and unearth something precious. It’s almost as if she has a sense of timing and drama!
I’m organising a special event as part of the Truffle Festival this year. It’s called ‘Truffle Day Out’ and will be held on Sunday 30th July. It will be a great introduction to the region; its wine and truffles. The day will begin with a truffle hunt at a local truffiere, continue with a wine & truffle tasting masterclass, include lunch cooked by one of our regions most famous chefs, Jonny Schwass, and move on to an afternoon cooking workshop with the legend himself. There will be truffle to purchase, and lots of tips and techniques to take away with you.
If those mysterious, seductive and transformative underground fungal treats are on your bucket list this will be the perfect way to spend a day. Book tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/truffle-day-out-tickets-35472959577