Food with Attitude

My Love Affair with Truffles – and the Southern Forests Region of Western Australia

As a relative newcomer to the world of truffles, I have quickly become a big fan of this fun guy (fungi hehe!).  So much flavour packed into one little gnarly nugget of earthy goodness.  With an asking price of around $2,000 per kilogram, it’s no wonder the truffle is so highly-prized around the world.  And here in Western Australia we are so lucky to have access to the freshest harvest during June-August,  and showcased annually at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival.

The 8th Annual Truffle Kerfuffle Festival

This was my first time attending the Festival, held in Manjimup, just a 3 1/2 hour drive south of Perth, which equates to 3 and a bit podcasts!  It’s quite a lovely drive (even better if someone else is doing the driving), and when you get down past Bunbury and start heading into the Karri Forest region, it is quite magical, and the scenery is just breathtaking.

Karri Forest
Karri Forest

The festival village is located at Fonty’s Pool, in itself a stunning and unique location on the outskirts of Manjimup.

Fonty's PoolFonty’s Pool

Over the course of the weekend at the Festival Village, a vast array of wonderful, fresh local produce is on offer  for taste and purchase.  There is something for every foodie out there.  And, naturally, being the star of the show,  almost every plated dish includes an addition of a generous shaving of locally-harvested and oh-so-fresh truffle.  I was in heaven!

The Truffle Dogs got lots of attention!

 

How gorgeous are these heirloom pumpkins from Warren Grange?

Donuts, Marron, Pasta, Pies……..

I began at the Heritage Wine Bar stand (no, not for wine funnily enough!), and practically inhaled a donut filled with truffled creme patisserie, glazed with southern forests honey, and topped off with freshly grated Pottinger truffle.  It was decadent and delicious, and whet my appetite for more.

I moved onto the Fervor Campfire Kitchen for fresh half marron with truffle and seablite.  Simple yet exquisite.  I couldn’t resist also trying Fervor’s kangaroo tail broth with local veg and truffle.  This for me was the dish of the day.  The broth was so rich in flavour, enhanced even more with the addition of the truffle, but would have been quite perfect on its own.

Marron from Fervor Campfire Kitchen
Kangaroo Tail Broth
Fervor Campfire Kitchen

I did have a break in between eating, in case you were wondering.  I tried some of the local wines, sat in on some of the cooking demonstrations, and listened to some great live music.

Chef and Compere Tony Howell on the demonstration stage

 

Live Music at Fonty’s Pool

Other Truffle-filled Events…..

There are many ticketed events that run over the course of the festival weekend, from wine tasting to dinners and even truffle hunting, and many of these include village entry in the ticket price.  If you are planning to go next year, I highly recommend getting onto the mailing list so that you have first option on the highly sought-after events as soon as they go on sale.

Where to Stay….

There are a heap of accommodation options in the vicinity of the Festival – Manjimup, Pemberton, Karri Valley, Nannup.  Having left our run a bit late to book in Manjimup, we stayed at Karri Valley Chalets https://www.karrivalley.com.au– very comfortable self-contained chalets, about 30 mins drive from Manjimup.  You can light the woodfire, open a bottle of red and sit out on the verandah watching the kangaroos and emus doing their thing just metres away.  And there’s no phone range, so what’s not to love about that?

Karri Valley Chalets
Karri Valley Chalets

I can’t wait to return next year for the Truffle Kerfuffle 2019!



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