The Pawfect Truffle Hunt

The months of July and August in Melbourne are usually pretty bleak and depressing but they are also a joyous occasion in our household as it is truffle season. Last July, we got to share our love of truffles with our much adored and pampered black Labrador, Peggy, by taking her on a Gourmet Paws truffle hunt in regional Victoria.

Our day started early at 8:30am with a doggie meet and greet at an off-leash beach in Port Melbourne.  After a good run and, in the case of our water loving Labrador, a swim all dogs and their owners boarded the Gourmet Paws bus.  Once settled, each dog was given a goodie bag comprising treats and vouchers which was a really nice touch and well received by Peggy.

Morning tea was organised at a park along the way where the dogs could get off the bus for a quick run whilst their owners enjoyed a coffee and a bite to eat.

The truffle hunt was organised at Black Cat Truffles near Creswick in regional Victoria (about 90 minutes’ from Melbourne).  Black Cat Truffles has a 1000 tree trufferie mostly comprising English and French oaks inoculated with black Perigord truffles (Tuber melanosporum).   Upon arrival, owners and dogs disembarked the bus and then proceeded to the Black Cat Truffles’ tasting and sales room where we were given the run down on truffles and the trufferie.  We also got to eat the most exquisite fromager d’Affinois with truffles which we washed down with a glass of sparkling wine.

Following our truffle introduction, we embarked on a truffle hunt with the resident truffle dog leaving our own dogs in the sales and tasting room in the hands of the Gourmet Paws carers.  The truffle hunt was very interesting as we not only got to see a trained truffle dog in action but we also got to see how truffles grow.  We each had the opportunity to dig the truffles from the earth and by the end of the hunt, we had quite an impressive bounty (available for purchase).  Our own dogs were not allowed to participate in the truffle hunt due to the potential to introduce disease but they had their own mock truffle hunt for treats infused with truffle.  Of course our Peggy was an expert in finding her treat in no time and maybe too willingly assisted others in finding theirs.  She is a Labrador after all!

After the doggie truffle hunt, we headed back to the tasting and sales room for a wine tasting and the opportunity to select and purchase the fresh black truffles.  Stocked with our purchases, we boarded the bus and headed to lunch at the Farmers Arms Hotel in Creswick.

Whilst we lunched, our dogs remained on the bus with the Gourmet Paws carers  and enjoyed a movie and massage.  Husband and I were extremely anxious about leaving Peggy but it was clear on our return that she was in excellent care and was happy to relax and take a nap.  After a quick walk, it was back on the bus for our return trip to Melbourne.

Fact File:

Gourmet Paws is a doggie based tour company based in Melbourne and operates truffle hunts in July and August each year.  Our truffle hunt cost AUD$475.90 for two adults and dog and included bus transport, morning tea, trained dog carers , truffle hunt including sparkling wine on arrival and wine tasting, mock doggie truffle hunt including doggie treat, doggie goodie bag and a three course lunch with glass of wine.  We loved the truffle hunt and thought it was very well organised.  Highly recommended.  If truffles are not your thing, Gourmet Paws also operates other doggie tours including winery tours.  Further information can be found at: https://gourmetpawprints.com.au

Black Cat Truffles: Located in Wattle Flat (near Creswick) about 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne and is open to the public to purchase truffles and truffle products.  Further information can be found at: http://www.blackcattruffles.com.au

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