Oregon state, on the northwest US coast, is home to several indigenous culinary truffle species, most notably the Oregon white and black truffles. It’s also the home of North America’s longest running truffle festival – the Oregon Truffle Festival (www.oregontrufflefestival.org). This is one of my favourite truffle festivals and began a decade ago in celebration of the local truffle species – the Oregon black and white truffles. Founded by mycologist Charles Lefevre and his partner Leslie Scott, it has evolved to also embrace the French black winter truffle too, as Charles is now also pioneering efforts to establish French black truffle cultivation in North America. I was a guest speaker at the 2015 festival where I introduced Australia’s truffle industry to a US audience, enjoyed many a truffle feast and this uniquely intimate showcase of all things truffle in the US.
Oregonians are lucky – not only do they have an ideal climate for cultivating the French black truffle, they also have their own native truffles to enjoy. So this festival sees lots of truffle dogs engaged in several days of competitive truffle hunting in local forests – something we just can’t do here. The 2018 festival program will run across two weekends from 25 January until 18 February. It’s well worth a visit, and if you’re travelling there via San Francisco, I recommend that you visit our friends John and Tobi Garrone’s Far West Fungi store (www.farwestfungi.com ) in the harbour-side foodie paradise in the restored Ferry Building. This restored ferry terminal building hosts an outdoor farmers’ market and some great cafes and restaurants which showcase local produce. John and Tobi are fourth generation mushroom growers and the largest producers of cultivated mushrooms on the west coast. If you arrive in North America in Los Angeles, you might also enjoy the coast drive from LA to San Francisco, where you’ll also pass through California’s now burgeoning French black truffle country. This is concentrated in the valleys like Sonoma and Napa, where there’s also another truffle festival program from 12 – 15 January 2018 (http://www.napatrufflefestival... ).