The incredibly charming Peg is being reminded of her chief purpose in life. This is not to wander around the garden annoying the cats, or to consume the butcher’s fine bones, nor yet to sleep on my daughter’s bed, but instead to apply her very fine nose to the task that will soon be at hand — finding truffles. She’s getting regular reminder sessions with truffle baits (35mm film canisters with a little truffle oil on cotton wool inside and holes cut in the lid to let the smell out) buried in the truffiere, and is finding them with her customary ease. In three or four weeks the season will be beginning, and she will find me my first truffle. Or not.
The coming NZ season looks promising. There are reports of good signs of truffle from several established producers, if not yet at Limestone Hills. Meanwhile, the irrepressible Tim Terry in Tasmania tells me he has just harvested his first of the season. By accident. A trainee truffle hound did the business. Not yet fully ripe, though.