Truffles — the mushrooms, not the chocolates. Some people like them. Many love them. Many others are obsessed with them.
It turns out the Willamette Valley is the king of the truffle world, at least in North America.
You see, the truffle is a type of ectomycorrhizal fungi, meaning it grows in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of trees. Unlike more common mushroom varieties, truffles grow entirely underground — right in our backyard.
All this led to the formation of the Oregon Truffle Festival, which is in full bloom right now. The festival, which runs through the end of February, has events and activities that take place everywhere the truffles can be found in the Willamette Valley, from McMinnville to Eugene.
Much of the truffle festival takes place in Corvallis on the Oregon State University campus.
The experienced truffle hunter will use their dog to help find this underground treasure. And the festival offers training classes for your pooch if you’re so inclined.
For a rundown of events, go to oregontrufflefestival.org.