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Truffles – Orange Frost Fest

August 11, 2010
After nearly a year on the farm, we have recently been reflecting on what an amazing region we live in. It’s true, the cold climate can make winter tough to endure at times, but it can also be magical, as it was last week when we arrived on the farm to see a winter wonderland, the paddocks shrouded in crisp white snow and frost.

The Nashdale/Canobolas area where we are, just west of Orange, has amazing volcanic soils that produce the wonderful variety of fruit and vegetables that give the ‘food basket of NSW’ its fine reputation. Of course this means it’s a hub of culinary activity, with people, providores and restaurants passionate about local produce, as well as exciting seasonal events. One of the many festivals (you may be familiar with our biggest event Orange F.O.O.D week) is Frost Fest, held annually in August.

Thankfully a farmer’s life includes its moments of rest and relaxation (and of course research!), and we were lucky enough to attend one of the many festival events. On Thursday night, spoiled for choice, we flipped a coin to decide between a dinner with Matthew Evans at the Old Convent, Borenore, celebrating his book the Real Food Companion, and a Truffle Information Evening at A Slice of Orange. Truffles came up trumps, the night being hosted at one of our favourite haunts by Joel Owen from Urban Graze Cooking School, a good friend of The Farm Gate.

Aside from being familiar with the delights of their delectation, we arrived with little knowledge about the prized fungus, which is increasingly being produced locally. Lisa and Vicki from A Slice of Orange were consummate hosts, welcoming everyone with wine from local vineyard Printhie, with The Farm Gate’s own apple juice offered for non-drinkers. There was a great turn out, with about thirty people squeezed into the warm and cosy Slice store. After an introduction from Lisa, Joel took over and enlightened his eager audience about aspects of production and consumption, from growing conditions to harvesting methods, quality grading and myths regarding truffle products on the market. He then demonstrated how to handle and prepare the delicate morsels and showcased Urban Graze’s range of products made with local Millthorpe truffles.

A truffle night wouldn’t be complete without a delicious treat, and Joel prepared a simple but stunning dish of scrambled eggs made with truffle-infused eggs, truffle butter and truffle salt, all made by Urban Graze. This silken delight was served on some brioche baked by Urban Graze earlier that day, and all agreed it was a taste sensation.

Following this fabulous evening, we left with a few truffle products to try at home as well as a wealth of information on this prized local product.

For more information on Urban Graze and the amazing things they are doing with their cooking school and their new projects in Milthorpe check out their website:

Visiting Orange or wanting to buy some amazing produce from the Orange region?   

To stay up to date with what is going on or coming up in the Orange region:
Taste Orange –
Orange Visitors Information Centre –

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