Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Perfect Storm: Part One

You know those times in life when the all the necessary elements come together to create an epic event of such grand proportions, even Mark Wahlberg is left flabbergasted? 

Yes. It’s the perfect storm.

Well, dear cheese lovers, I experienced that this weekend past when three of my favourite things came together in the one almighty cluster-bam of awesome.


All three?

Hells yes. Watch out. This is the perfect storm and it is going to blow…your…mind!

I know Clooney, I know.

I went truffling on the weekend, in a small country town known as Orange (about four hours west of Sydney). The day was to involve a walk around the orchards and vineyards of Borrodell winery for a stint of snuffle hunting (yeah, I just used that phrase), followed by a five (!) course meal involving truffles at every turn.

The truffles would be snuffled out by adorable dogs, the truffles would be dug up, and their flavours would be enjoyed in epic proportions. Yes dear reader, the humidity is rising, the barometer is getting low.

It's perfect storm.

We tramped around the vineyard in our blacktie outfits and gumboots and watched in awe as Zita the purebred Labrador snuffed out mud-treasures (yeah, I just used that phrase) and pawed the ground when she found them.

And oh my, did she find them (whilst also being obedient and delightful).

We were allowed to get down on all fours and sniff the earth where they were buried. You could see them peeping through the soil, and the aroma in the ground was, even then, simply breathtaking.

Most wonderful of all was the fact that each truffle had a different smell, with different fragrance notes becoming apparent at every turn. The first truffle we found was strongly reminiscent of red wine. We found truffles that smelt as though they were freshly dusted with chocolate and some even had undertones of blackberries and garlic. And everyone on our little walk had a different olfactory opinion.

Some people thought they smelt like plain dirt, and bless their cotton socks, we didn’t throw them out of the vineyard. (If it quacks like a duck, it’s probably dirt, right?)

By the end of the walk I was overstimulated and had to be gently cradled like a basket of so many truffles.

Oh wait.

I was the one cradling the truffles. And in the perfect storm of magnificence, we had only just crested the first wave. We were about to experience five courses of trufflemania, including (dear reader) the most freaking amazing marriage of truffles and cheese that I have ever experienced. A marriage that would put Barbra Streisand and James Brolin to shame.

What will happen next? Will Claire find the cheese of her dreams? Will she make it through all five courses in one piece? Will down-on-his-luck Captain Billy Tyne find a way to make it through the waves to bring his bountiful catch back to port?

Stay tuned for the Perfect Storm Part II – Beyond Truffledome.


  1. I need to do this. Now! Is it still truffle season? Can I go? Details details please!

  2. Ahhhh no! It's all over. I think truffling tends to be more of a "depths of darkest winter" thing. But for future reference the hunt went down in the vineyards of Borrodell on the Mount Winery (http://www.borrodell.com.au/) - If you're ever in Orange it's a great place for a visit!