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Oregon White  Truffles are available Now through the middle of January, 2007 at 12/05/06

It's Truffle Time!

2003 Winter Truffle Season Report

Dismal showing from the Oregon Black Truffles this year. Anyone need any nice Oregon White Truffles?

1998-1999 Winter Truffle Season Report

I have been finding a few white truffles but ripe black truffles have been very elusive. I have located some areas with each type of truffle but the truffles are very small and need some time to grow.

1996-1997 Winter Truffles Season Report

The winter season for Oregon White Truffles is almost over. I expect the season to last until the first week of February this year. The Oregon Black Truffles are proving to be fairly elusive. They are still available in limited quantities and should be in good condition throughout February.

December 10, 1996 Update

The winter harvest season for Oregon White Truffles and Oregon Black Truffles is in full swing. The prices are higher this year as there are not as many truffles available as last season.
This season's crop of whites is scarce but the truffles are of good quality. They came on rather late (early November) but are now of fair size. I have only collected a few baseball sized specimens this season but I have been collecting many the size of golf balls. I have been collecting several pounds on each outing.
The black harvest is spotty with some patches yet to produce any truffles. Other patches are producing very small truffles and some patches are producing few truffles but of good quality. The blacks in patches that are producing are of good size. They are ranging from the size of nickels to the size of softballs with many the size of silver dollars (or slightly larger).

My Truffle Hunting History
(Written in November of 1997)

I have been interested in locating truffles since 1985 when I first saw David Arora's book, Mushrooms Demystified, with pictures of truffles in it. I saw some tiny frozen Oregon White Truffles in 1985 at a friend's house (that he had purchased at a mushroom show). In 1986, I heard that Dan Wheeler was digging truffles on a tree farm owned by a person with whom I was acquainted. The tree farm owner told me that Dan was "planting" truffles on his property. I found my first "real" truffle in 1990- an Oregon White just outside the house in which I was living at the time. In 1992, I collected mushrooms all fall and I had free time during the winter truffle season. I visited the tree farm again and saw the type of timber where Dan was finding truffles and began searching on other similar pieces of property. I collected truffles commercially for several years and decided that the competition in "publicly accessible" areas was too great. Due to the extensive over-digging too much of a demand was being placed upon the forest and I surmised that continuing high yields were probably not sustainable. With Dan's work with truffle propagation in mind, I was inspired to contact my neighboring forest managers and located several stands of timber suitable for truffle propagation. I chose areas where the truffles were already growing and augmented the areas with more truffles. I am just now beginning to have an increased yield in these areas. With the correct management, the value of the truffles over several decades should be greater than the price received for the timber on the plots with favorable truffle growing conditions.

I have received new information about the truffles that I have been collecting. This information comes from Dan Wheeler, a past president of the North American Truffles Society (NATS) and current president of the Oregon Mycological Society.

New (to me) Information!!!!!

The truffles that I have been collecting and marketing for the past several years are not exactly what I believed them to be. I was not given any specific genus and species for any of the truffles by the commercial buyers to whom I sold the truffles that I collected. They just called certain (yummy) ones Oregon White Truffles and other (equally yummy but different) ones Oregon Black Truffles. I searched for information through the many books on mushrooms that I own and came up with the information that I wrote up in my 1995-1996 season report.

Upon seeing my WebPages for the first time, Dan Wheeler wrote me with better information. It would seem that the truffles marketed as Oregon White Truffles are actually several species of the genus Tuber (I believe that I have three different species upon macroscopic examination). There may be as many as seven different Picoa species in Oregon (I have seen two that I feel were macroscopically distinguishable as different). Picoa carthusiana, THE Oregon Black Truffle, has been renamed as Leucangium carthusiana.

I have been informed that Tuber gibbosum is a white truffle that is harvested from May to June (I will be searching for these this year!!!). This would fit in with Arora's description of the T. gibbosum as occurring in California in May-June (he confused the winter Oregon White Truffles with T. gibbosum when he said that it was harvested earlier in Oregon- so at least I am in good company:-).

I have been told that the truffles of Europe actually belong to more than one genus and are of several species in each genus. They are marketed as White Truffles and Black Truffles. It is fine to call the members of the genus Tuber that are found here in Oregon "Oregon White Truffles" but not to identify them as T. gibbosum unless they are T. gibbosum. It is fine to call Leucangium carthusiana and the members of the genus Picoa that are found here in Oregon "Oregon Black Truffles" but not to identify them as Leucangium carthusiana unless it has been proven that the specimens in question that are being marketed have been positively identified as L. carthusiana.

1995-96 Season Report

The Tuber gibbosum, Oregon White Truffles, are outstanding this year. I have been collecting many baseball sized specimens with the average. size truffle being about the size of golfballs in well established colonies.

The Picoa carthusiana, the Oregon Black Truffle, is very pungent and plentiful this year as well. They are found in Europe and are not considered "true" truffles there. The Europeans call them "summer" truffles and ban import to protect their truffle market. Although they are not as aromatic as the European truffles, they are stronger in flavor than the Oregon White Truffles.


How to find mushrooms and truffles!!!!

My Favorite Truffle Recipes:

Mix grated or chopped Oregon White Truffles with cream cheese and store in the refrigerator. The cream cheese takes on the flavor of the Truffles and it is absolutely wonderful on warm bagels.

Omelets are great with a few Oregon White Truffles added at just the last minute!!!! (You've got to break a few truffles to get an omelet;-)

I also enjoy grated or chopped Oregon White Truffles on salads or pasta with a little bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a light herbal vinegar and oil dressing. This complements the flavor of the Truffles and the result is heavenly.

Take two or three golf ball sized Oregon Black Truffles and put them in with risotto (or anything else that would taste good with truffles) for two to three days and the result is truffle flavored rice.

Try chopping frozen truffles and adding to gravy just before stirring in the roux.

Take several (adjust to taste) truffles and place between the skin and the meat of poultry before roasting.

If you enjoy the taste of truffles, store them with fresh eggs in the refrigerator until ready for use.

European Truffles

Black truffles, Tuber melanosporum, come from the Quercy and Perigord regions of France and the Umbria region of Italy. They are called Black Diamonds in France. They are used many dishes especially in pate de foie gras (fatted goose or duck liver).
White truffles, Tuber magnatum, are from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. They are generally stronger than the black truffles and taste "garlicky."
Except for attempts to cultivate them, the European truffles are not found in North America.

Watch Out For Fakes!!!

Asian look-alikes to the Tuber melanosporum began showing up about in world markets about
2 years ago. These Chinese Black Truffles, Tuber himalayensis, appear to be the same as T. melanosporum unless the spores are examined microscopically. While these look the same, they do not have the same flavor. According to various reports (including some on the net- see FUNGUS and Botanical Electronic News #98) some unscrupulous mushroom dealers have been dousing the T. himalayensis with T. melanosporum flavored oil or putting one or two T. melanosporum in with a basket of T. himalayensis to obtain the high prices commanded by the rare Black Diamonds.

It is my opinion that people should be able to buy what they want, but should get products as they are represented to them.

Truffle Tips:

Some truffles are collected in an unripe state (the California Red-Backed Voles get the real ripe ones!!!). Store them in the refrigerator until they are soft. When fully ripe, the interior of the winter season Oregon White Truffle is the color of a brown paper grocery bag. The interior of a ripe Oregon Black Truffle is a mottled gray.

Truffles keep fresh longer when they are unwashed and refrigerated. They should be eaten before they get too soft and any appearing oily should be used immediately.

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This page was updated on November 12, 1998.



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