With its long-standing reputation and panoramic views over Hagley Park Pescatore offers an exciting dining concept enhanced by its stunning interior. Chef de Cuisine Reon Hobson and his team have created a unique, fresh, conceptual approach to the cuisine, which at its core has a passionate respect for ingredients. From the origins of classical cuisine to the very latest food techniques, the menu has been designed to engage the senses and build an emotionally rich experience. Seasonal menus are matched with top vintages from Pescatore’s comprehensive wine list, honoured by Wine Spectator magazine as being one of the most outstanding restaurant lists in the world.
Wed – Sun, 10am – 5pm. Phone: 03 314 6085. Email: Bookings@blackestate.co.nz
A remarkable place for wine and food! The complex soils of Waipara are creating some amazing wine, but did you know that there is also amazing food being grown, gathered and produced in the area? Black Estate uses organic, free range and seasonal produce (including truffles of course, we are just down the road), so the menu changes frequently. Family owned and run, expect excellent, warm and welcoming service.
A grade – Premium and Iconic Truffles
As the name suggests these should be top quality. The aroma should be pungent with the characteristic colour and taste of the species. They should be mainly regular in shape with little or no damage to the peridium (outer protective layer or skin). Weight for premium truffles is between 30 and 300grams. Any over 300grams are termed iconic, as they are viewed by customers as such.
– Perfect for shaving onto dishes at the table for a bit of glitz and glamour
B Grade – Small or Broken Truffles
These are the same as A grade with regards to flavour, aroma and colour but are smaller, between 15 and 30grams. There may be slight damage from harvest or predators as well as shape imperfections. They can be whole, broken or large off-cuts and trimmed lobes.
– Can still use at the table but also used for infusing and dish preparation
C Grade – Slices and Bits and very small Truffle
Still using every bit of the ripe truffle, C grade comprises of slices (necessary to expose the characteristics of the gleba, the inside flesh of the truffle, for A and B grade truffles) and bits smaller than 15grams, that have either been broken or cut from a larger ripe truffle. It also includes whole truffles less than 15grams. Still containing a pungent truffle aroma but can be slightly less in intensity compared to A and B grade.
– Fantastic in butters, sauces and preparation of pasta/rice dishes
All grades minimum requirements:
- Truffles are Perigord black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) harvested in New Zealand and to be supplied fresh within a few days of harvest (unless stated otherwise).
- Free from and major physical damage such as rotting and decay, frost damage and pests or damage caused by pests
- Aroma must be well developed and truffle sufficiently developed for the specific grade. A small slice can be taken to reveal the gleba (inside flesh of truffle) that should be black with white veins if properly ripened while the peridium should be a dark brown/black colour
- Free from any visible dirt and foreign matters
Over ripe and rotten truffles are still used by Kings Truffles, either to put back onto the soil around the base of the trees at the end of the season, or to use for innoculum when infecting tree seedlings. The rot does not impair the quality of spore germination but actually often has a higher mature spore count.
Truffles need to breath to prevent rotting. We find that wrapping them individually in paper towels and then placing them in a cardboard box in the fridge is best. You will find the paper towels become damp so it is best to change the paper towels daily. We do have a fridge specifically designated for truffles as the smell can be very over powering and flavor many foods in your fridge so this is why you will often find your truffle in an air tight glass jar. Again it is stressed to change the paper towel frequently if this is the case.
It is common to see truffles stored with rice but this is not actually a good way to keep them. The rice will draw out the moisture from the truffle and they may dry out faster. It is also believed that the rice infuses with truffle flavor, it will smell like truffle, but once you cook the rice you will find that the aroma (as well as taste) will have disappeared.
However, you can infuse other ingredients in your fridge. One common favorite is eggs. Simply place the truffles and eggs (still in their shells and uncooked) together for a few days (even a few hours and there will be a slight truffle taste) and the eggs will absorb the intense truffle fragrance ready for making your favorite egg dish.
For more ideas on serving see our truffle recipes.