Don’t miss the upcoming annual Oregon Truffle Festival! The truffle is one of the culinary world’s preeminent delicacies. This type of mushroom grows in a symbiotic association with tree roots and is the “fruit” of such fungi. And thanks to a unique confluence of climate factors, Oregon is one of the few places in the world that produces world-class truffles — four, in fact, of a kind that otherwise can be found only in Europe.
As a result, a growing truffle industry has sprouted — no pun intended — in Oregon, and that industry, along with those who hunt truffles, as well as buy, sell, prepare and study them — is spotlighted each year at the Oregon Truffle Festival. Normally there are two well-attended events each year — one in McMinnville, Oregon, close to our Willamette Valley Bed and Breakfast, and at our on-site Willamette Valley Winery.
The Oregon Truffle Festival Has Gone Virtual for 2021!
This year, however, the Oregon Truffle Festival is going virtual. Exact dates and workshops haven’t been announced yet (but check the website frequently, as well as the Festival’s Facebook page, for updates).
But, in anticipation of the likelihood that a taste of truffle knowledge will make you want to come to the Willamette Valley and try your truffle-hunting luck, we hope you’ll begin and end each day of dabbling in this delicacy at our Willamette Valley Bed and Breakfast and Willamette Valley Winery, where we have wines to pair with your fungi-borne finds or purchases.
So plan for the Oregon Truffle Festival by planning a truffle-hunting getaway with us — and start by booking your room at our luxury bed and breakfast today!
Oregon Truffles 101, Ahead of the Oregon Truffle Festival
“When it comes to truffles, only Oregon matters.” So said a 2017 newspaper article on the subject, and that truism has only gotten more true since then. They account for at least one-third of what we eat nationwide, even when you factor in imported truffles from France and Italy, and its share of the market only continues to grow.
So, as we look ahead to this year’s virtual version of the Oregon Truffle Festival, here are some things worth knowing about Oregon truffles before you head out in the forests in search of your own:
- There are five primary kinds of truffles with commercial value in Oregon. They are:
a) Oregon Winter White (harvested January through April)
b) Oregon Spring White (June and July)
c) Oregon Black (October through July)
d) Oregon Brown (September through January)
e) French black (December through April)
Learn more about each here.
- Oregon black truffles can sell for as much as $800 per pound. The price has risen in recent years with the supply, and the supply has risen with the increasing injection of truffle-hunting dogs into the hunt.
- Speaking of truffle-hunting dogs, one non-virtual aspect of the Oregon Truffle Festival that will be sorely missed in 2021 is the truffle-hunting competition. Foraging is often down with the Lagotto Romagnolo breed, which is born with a truffle-hunting instinct unseen in any other breed, and with training, can maximize that gift. Other breeds can be trained to truffle-hunt as well. One mutt in Italy once dug up a 3.3-pound white truffle that was later auctioned for $330,000!
- Part of the mystique of truffles lies not only in the difficulty of locating them, but in how to unearth them without damaging them, as well as preserving them for maximum aroma, flavor, and marketability. Here’s more detail.
- In most cases, “truffle oil” is truffle-free oil. Originally, truffle oil was high-quality olive oil infused with black or white truffle, but that long ago largely fell by the wayside in favor of cheaper, more mass-producible synthetic oil. Many people love the smell and taste (truffle-oil fries, anyone), but chefs prefer the real deal.
- What wines pair best with truffles? Ah, the question of utmost importance to our guests. Wine Enthusiast has some ideas, as does Handpicked Wines. Here’s more, for good measure. And, of course, when you visit us, feel free to ask our Bailey Family Wines staff.
Where to Stay When Getting Your Oregon Truffle Festival On
Youngberg Hill, our Willamette Valley Bed and Breakfast, is also the home of Bailey Family Wines (and Youngberg Hill label wines). We’re serious about wine, and we’re serious about the comfort of our guests.
The beautiful inn not only offers nine spacious guest suites loaded with luxury amenities and delicious gourmet breakfasts but spectacular vineyard, farmland, and mountain views. (Check out our photo and video galleries.) And you can enjoy our property knowing that we’re in full compliance with Oregon’s COVID-19 protocols and restrictions (check here to stay up to date).
So make your plans today to keep up with the Oregon Truffle Festival and get inspired to hunt truffles on your own in Western Oregon — and begin by booking your room at our Willamette Valley Bed and Breakfast today!