Oregon Truffle Festival coming up

This year’s Oregon Truffle Festival is coming up at the end of this month. I had a great time there last year – even if I did have to sing for my supper – and I’m sure this year will be even better. Ian Hall and Alessandra Zambonelli are doing the keynote, the grower’s forum, and launching their new book, Taming The Truffle, so those sections will be certainly be well worth attending [Note: they’re both friends, so I’m biased]. I’ll be briefing Alessandra on what to expect in Eugene and how to harvest Oregon whites when she visits us at Limestone Hills next week.

Charlie and Leslie: good luck, and fine truffles for all!

5 thoughts on “Oregon Truffle Festival coming up

  1. Good guess on the fine truffles, Gareth (and if it had been wrong, boy would I have looked BAD, since last year was THE worst year in memory for both quantity and quality of Oregon Truffles.) But I’ll let Allessandra fill you in on the “for all” part. This year, the Whites were especially good–something that has not happened for a while. WOW, what a treat! For the Sunday Marketplace, though, there was too much White . . .snow and ice, preventing the appearance of any Oregonians not already in attendance for the rest of the Festival. I’m getting a lot of email inquiries for truffles from folks who had been looking forward to their yearly “fix”. Luckily, like any good drug dealer, I am prepared to provide the social service. One unamed excavator just showed up with a 65g (just to demonstrate I can speak in international language) Oregon White, the largest I have seen this year. Let’s see, in order to bolster the image that Oregon White Truffles really are world-class gems, what should I price it at? OK, you win, $125 NZD (plus shipping, duties, bribes . . .)

  2. Hi Jim,

    Glad it all went well and that the truffles were good. Did you take Alessandra out to do some raking?

    And $125 sounds like a great deal, but I’d never get it through customs. OWT’s are not on the list of acceptable truffles, and even the truffles that are on the list have to be DNA tested. A great shame…

    I’ll get back to Oregon one day. Perhaps I should be bribing Charlie…

  3. Yeah, I heard reference to the stringent NZ Ag regs in Ian’s lecture. I must say, even though I am not a fan of gov regs, prudence IS a good idea when it comes to potentially contaminating ecosytems. It’s just too bad it is too little, too late–leave it to government to do the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities . . .

    Did not myself take A out for an experience extracting New World Truffles, cowboy-style. Had my hands more full than last year. I did rescue OTs from her horrid first introduction to them on Thursday night, though. Todd Spanier, Juan Alcala, and I really put on a good show at the Marche during A and I’s Friday night dinner, flowered neckties and all, with some fine specimens of both Whites and Blacks, under a glass bell-cover on a truffle shaver board. I think Allesandra may have liked the dessert qualities of the Oregon Black as much as I do . . .I sang Happy Birthday to a young girl blowing candles out with her older sister and father at the adjacent table, while shaving Blacks all over (t)he(i)r ice cream, with her eyes wide–she said she had never had truffles before.

    Of course, I responded I hoped she would have many more.
    My wish for everyone!

    Well, I sold that White beauty (at $100US–the once almighty dollar is finally feeling the inevitable effects of its bullying legacy) to a woman who wanted it for a romantic gift for her husband.

    We’d love to have you, Gareth. Maybe you could bring a raft of Limestone Hills Black Diamonds to pay the way.

    Did I ever mention I used to be in the Kiwi business? Not the slave trade, kiwiFRUIT. Almost single-handedly deconstructed the price of our domestic kiwifruit from the NZ standard to less than half the price, something that many more folks here could afford, turning it from that weird thing on the produce rack that no one knew who bought and ate, into a household word. Maybe I shouldn’t post that on a NZ site, eh? Darn Yankees–always spoiling a good scam.

    Well, you’ll have a chance to return the favor. After I get Oregon Truffles up to around $750/#, you cats (what do NZ’rs affectionately call one another?) can learn to cultivate them, borrow money from the Chinese, and flood my market . . .

  4. Don’t worry about kiwis, Jim, the rest of the world was quite keen to get in on the act too, and lots of bits of budwood were smuggled out of the country… (same thing happened with apples).

    And the thought of you, Todd and Juan in flowered neckties rather begs for a picture… Is Juan also rather taller than the average man?

  5. I forgot that Juan was not present last year when you were here. Yes, he is. Although, next to Todd and I, one would not know it. And he is a fine-looking man of Spanish Mexican decent. It was the tie he brought that inspired me I to follow suit. (You should have seen us in college, with our twin laminated-rainbow-framed sunglasses!) There were several cameras going that night at the table. Lorraine the Canadian journalist, Todd, Alessandra, at least. You source away! (since I am camera -impaired. Or, put another way, I am hard-pressed to produce images other than what comes naturally . . .)

    BTW, you will probably be pleased to hear (we certainly are) that there has arisen a chance to effect a recovery of the patch we took you to to see the rake-rape evidence . The owner has expressed interest in participating in securing it, enlisting the aid of les Gendarme to arrest criminal tresspassers, giving John exclusive access, etc. Charlie is working on a grant, and we may be running field experiments there on patch management. What a pleasure it would be to return that legendarily-productive Oregon Black Truffle site to its former glory, or beyond!

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