Truffles are the underground fruiting bodies of fungi that grow in lime-rich soils in association with trees such as hazels, oaks and pines. They develop amazingly powerful aromas and flavours, and are a celebrated and revered part of the cuisine and food cultures of France and Italy. As a luxury gourmet experience, NZ’s black and white truffles command prices in excess of $3,000 per kilo, and are in demand around the world.
North Canterbury is at the heart of the fast-growing NZ truffle business. The region boasts more truffle producers than any other part of the country, with at least 15 truffières (truffle plantations) supplying top quality Perigord black, bianchetto and Burgundy truffles to the nation’s finest restaurants, lodges and hotels. Every year new truffières come into production, new truffières are planted and the region’s harvest continues to grow.
The Canterbury Truffle Festival was launched in 2015, and has become a major winter event for foodies and wine lovers from New Zealand and overseas.