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Diners can t get enough of truffles
Manjimup truffle grower Al Blakers and chef Chris Taylor at Fraser's. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Welcome to the two-speed truffle economy.

The 10-week truffle season is five weeks old and this season Perth diners are eating more of the rare and desirable $2500/kg black truffle than diners in Melbourne and Sydney combined.

Restaurants take the largest share of WA's truffles.

They are available from a handful of retailers. One of the largest sellers in WA is Simon Johnson at Subiaco. Store manager Kellie Willcock is selling an average of 400g of truffles a week. "This is better than last year," Ms Willcock said. "The quality is also some of the best we've seen."

Simon Johnson stores nationwide and a raft of the nation's top restaurants source their truffles from Manjimup farmer Al Blakers.

Mr Blakers said he sold 8kg in WA last week and may well sell more this week. "Perth is a 10kg a week market," he said.

"We sell more here than the rest of Australia."

The former dairy farmer, who switched to truffles about eight years ago, is coy about his production levels but it is understood he will unearth close to 800kg of the Perigord black truffle this season. He sends on average about 10kg a week to Paris where France's top chefs are cock-a-hoop about the Manjimup product.

"Quality and volume have never been better," he said.

The West Australian

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