Last Updated on July 10, 2020 by Travels with Kids
We were thrilled to get down and dirty at a truffle hunt in Manjimup Western Australia at the annual Truffle Kerfuffle! Read all about our experience on a truffle hunt Manjimup at the Truffle Kerfuffle.
This post may contain affiliate links, from which we would earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. More info in my disclaimer. Disclosure: We received a sponsored visit from Australian Truffle Traders & the Truffle Kerfuffle, but we were not compensated in any way to write this post. All travel and associated travel costs (meals) were paid for us and all opinions, as always, are our own.
Facts About Truffles & Truffle Hunts
How Do You Hunt Truffles
There are a few different ways you can hunt for truffles. So people also call it truffle foraging. A person can head out on there own searching for truffles along the base of certain types of trees where truffles are known to grow. Also, and in the case of the Manjimup truffle hunt, you can also use a specially trained truffle dog. The dog uses its keen sense of smell to search out ripe truffles. Some searches also use truffle pigs. How cool is that?
Why Are Truffles So Expensive
Truffles are exotic cousins of the mushroom. They are fungi or tubers like mushrooms but different. Truffles are known for their aromatics and taste unlike anything else. Truffles are expensive because they only grow in certain regions and are not particularly easy to find. You need to be skilled in the art of truffle hunting or have a specializing trained dog or pig that has been trained to sniff out the truffles. Truffle hunting is a very labor-intensive and time-consuming quest.
Another reason they are expensive is that they are notoriously difficult to cultivate on their own or product in mass quantity. While some farmers have had success in planting truffle orchards, it is not easy. It can take upwards of six years to even be able to harvest any truffles.
How Are Australian Truffles Different To European Truffles
While they are still truffles, Australian truffles are a bit different and have a different flavor and aromatics profile. Also, Australia exclusively produces only black truffles. They are known as “black gold” in Australia. The white truffle variety is only naturally harvested in Italy.
Once Italy and France were to top truffle producing countries, but in recent years Australia has been put on the map. Australian truffles now fetch high prices at market just as their European cousins do.
Our Truffle Hunt Manjimup WA Experience
Our encounter with the black truffle was exciting on a number of fronts. We learned about new food, and we learn how to HUNT them. This was a real element of excitement that you don’t get if you are, say, fruit picking. Truffle hunting Manjimup was a thrilling experience.
We also learned that there is a whole mythology surrounding the black truffle, way back to the days of Mesopotamia. The black truffles reserved only for the rich. Through the centuries it has been associated with wizardry and witches, in part due to the difficulties of being able to find them as these fungi only grew in the wild.
Originally truffles were hunted by pigs. The pigs are attracted to the musty sensual aroma of the truffle. However, the pigs could remove the fingers of people who were hunting with them and were loath to let go of their find. Dogs have no such qualms; they are not so interested in the truffle but the treats that their handlers give them.
It is the mythology that surrounds the black truffle that makes it so exciting. We were delighted to go on a Manjimup truffle hunt to go find them. There is still an air of special-ness and privilege! How do you find them then? Essentially this is the answer: have well-trained truffle dogs. They run sniffing through the orchards of oak and hazelnuts and arrive at a tree that looks like any other tree, and scratch on the ground. Then, the truffle hunters (in this case us) begin to get down on all fours and SMELL the dirt for the pungent aroma of the truffle and dig in that spot.
Enthusiastic digging in the ground couldn’t be more perfect for kids! Our 3.5year old called it “searching for treasure” and he didn’t know how close to the truth he was! Our group pulled out of the ground truffles they were worth several hundred dollars (AU). The Black Truffle sells for approx. $2500 AU a kilogram! Our truffle hunt Manjimup was definitely fruitful.
We were delighted to dig up some truffles and run in the orchard, we were greatly impressed by Gabby the truffle dog, and the presentation from Gavin Booth of Australian Truffle Traders. All through the weekend, the powerful relationship and rapport of the dog handlers and the truffle dogs were evident and a delight to watch!
The black truffle is a new industry in Manjimup, Western Australia. In just over a decade it has grown to produce 70% of Australia’s truffle production. Manjimup truffles are known throughout Australia. They are a fine specimen of truffles Western Australia. The development of the industry in orchards has centered on the Manjimup area, and the use of dogs rather than pigs finding the truffles.
Apart from doing a truffle hunt, the Truffle Kerfuffle is a glorious celebration of winter and southern produce food. This is the kind of event that is both fun but deeply fulfilling on an educational level. You discover new foods grown locally, learn about the people that grow this food, and how to use those products to spice up your own kitchen!
Need More Information About The Truffle Hunt Manjimup
Tickets and extra activity information can be found at the Truffle Kerfuffle website.
If you just want to enjoy a fun Winter Festival with your family, check out The Truffle Kerfuffle With Kids.
Heading Further South After A Truffle Hunt
Check out our range of different posts about the south coast of Western Australia.
Walpole is the ideal destination for a nature-based holiday. We thoroughly love it for its clean air and isolation. There are lots of Things To Do In Walpole For Kids.
One of the highlights of the Walpole region is the Tree Top Walk, here are our top tips for Top Tips To Visit The Valley Of The Giants Tree Top Walk With Kids.
Finally, you can fit in a full day between Manjimup and Walpole and should consider the Best Places To Stay Near The Tree Top Walk.
If you are traveling to Western Australia and want more information, check out our favorite guidebooks below. Click on each one to see current prices.
Verdict – Going On A Truffle Hunt Manjimup WA
Our truffle hunt Manjimup was such a good time. Getting to search for and taste Australian truffles was a great experience for the entire family. We would definitely consider visiting the Truffle Kerfuffle each year. Have you ever had an experience like our Manjimup truffle hunt? If so, let us know your truffle hunting tips and experience below.
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