To dig or not to dig? Mitta Mitta Valley for Truffle Hunting on the 4th August

On the 4th of August we got to meet Scott from Mitta Mitta Valley who has 300, 5 years truffle trees. He had never checked these trees before so we had our fingers crossed that Kovu would find some for us.

The first 10 minutes Kovu hadn’t alerted us to any, so we weren’t sure if we were maybe too early but at the 15 minute mark he showed me a tree he thought there was one. I got down on the ground and removed the grass and stirred up the top soil to have a smell. I’ve been getting a lot of practice and trying to attune my sense of smell to truffle infused soil. I definitely cant claim to be like Kovu, The Master, but hey with my inferior olfactory system, where the air comes in and out through the same place (unlike a dogs nose) how could I ever be as good as that amazing system.

My inferior nose could also smell ripe truffle. I was ecstatic if I can smell truffle then there is definitely a ripe one in there. I wanted Scott to get to know the faint scent of soil which has truffle in it as when I am gone he will need to know when it is worth digging up the other markers we left because Kovu will mark unripe truffle which is a week from being ready. Therefore, we go truffle hunting at farms once a fortnight as he will show you truffle that is ready now and also truffle which is ready in a week or so. So its like two weeks for the price of one. I teach my client’s the difference between what to dig up today and what to dig up next week. We already have confirmation that the system works. At one farm we dug up 2kg of truffle on the day and left markers which we couldn’t smell anything. The next week using my advice and their now more sensitive sense of smell, they dug up another 1 kg ($2,500).

It was so exciting to be able to call out to Scott, who was nearby; “Scott, you have truffle!!!!” He came over expecting to see it, as I was so confident there was one there. He approached looking around clearly confused. “Its still under ground” I explained. I then got him to come down and smell the soil so he can learn the difference between what is worth digging for today and what is better left for next week.

After a while Scott could also could smell the difference. All the while Kovu is sitting next to us probably thinking¬† ‘You guys are dumb, I said it was there, so its there, why are you waiting around talking, thinking and smelling?’

We dug it out and it was about 100 grams ($200). It was not long after that he show us another tree. This tree was so tiny it was about 50 cm high. I was skeptical it could have truffle being such a small tree. I had a sniff and couldn’t smell anything strong. So I was again¬†skeptical but we dug a little deeper and low and behold you cannot judge a book by its cover. This tiny tree (see image below) had another $200 truffle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all we found 3 lovely truffle each about 100 grams. Scott was over the moon he went from having trees with potential truffle to trees which are producing truffles in only their 5th year.

Being a small town, alot of people were asking Scott if he had found any truffle, so Scott was pretty chuffed to be able to say yes. He went to a 60th birthday that night and of course the truffles went too, as everyone wanted to have a look and a smell. I hope the truffles didn’t upstage the birthday boy!!

After the truffle hunt we stayed in Mitta Mitta for the night had a pub meal on the house as the pub owners were so excited Scott got truffle. Scott ended up giving one to the owner/chef as he has been dying to get his hands on a truffle to cook with and what better way then to get a fresh truffle literally  hours from being harvested.

So, we thanked Kovu for his hard work and providing us with a pub meal and the next day we went to the snow. Kovu absolutely loved seeing snow and was digging through it sniffing it and just having a absolute ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying our pub meal.

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