sniffing out truffles

Digging up the dirt on Oregon truffles

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The elusive truffle is like buried treasure. If only we had a map to guide us to them. The pungent yet marvelous aromas the ugly little culinary nuggets emit — mustiness, garlic, earth, sweat — don’t sound or look appealing. But these gems of the kitchen are expensive and highly sought-after for a reason; they make even the simplest egg or pasta dish sing.

Like wine and other fine foods, truffles confer distinction to the farm and the area where they are produced, and like few other crops, they can be grown profitably on small acreages.

According to New World Truffieres’ mycologist, Dr. Charles Lefevre, “To cultivate truffles, inoculated truffle trees are planted in orchards much like those for fruits and nuts, except that the crop appears below ground and is usually harvested with the help of trained dogs or pigs that can smell the truffles through a layer of earth. Truffles begin to appear several years after the inoculated seedlings are planted, and production can continue for decades.”

While Oregon may have a long history of truffle research at Oregon State University, its truffle industry is still young and relatively undiscovered. Much like Oregon chanterelles… Read the complete story here on Wine Press Northwest. 

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