One of the world’s rarest cooking ingredients, white and black truffles, grow in spades in Oregon, and for the past 13 years, the Oregon Truffle Festival has connected eaters with the aromatic tubers. With tickets going fast, here’s what you need to know to get the most out of the 2018 event:
- While almost everyone’s tried truffle oil, which is usually one note and fake, real truffles bring something new to the plate: a full bouquet of aromas as unique as the stretch of Oregon land upon which they grew. There’s no comparison, from native Oregon black truffles with tropical fruit aromas, to native Oregon white truffles, known for musk, garlic, and something just beyond description.
- It’s impossible to cultivate many truffle varieties and difficult to preserve them, with fresh truffles having a shelf life of 10 days or less. Many varieties are only available a few months out of the year, too. The fact several culinary truffles grow in Oregon shouldn’t be squandered. It’s a chance to try the rare tuber without booking a flight to Europe or Australia.
3. The Oregon Truffle Festival takes place January 25-27, 2018, in Eugene, and February 16-18, 2018, in Yamhill County around Newberg and McMinnville. Many of the best events have already sold out — faster than usual this year, as the festival continues to gain notoriety — but there are still tickets to truffle events both over-the-top and inexpensive.
4. The Eugene and Newberg Fresh Truffle Marketplaces are the best way to get a first taste of truffles: Tickets cost $12-25 and rarely sell out. The Marketplaces are set up like truffle markets in Europe, with dozens of food artisans, foragers, and winemakers with tables of goods for sale and/or sample. Some chefs will also do cooking demos with complimentary plates.
5. There are still tickets for one-off truffle dinners in Eugene, but the truffle dinners in Yamhill County have sold out, aside from the decadent weekend packages, priced at $675-$1000. Note some restaurants in and near Portland will highlight truffles on their menus this truffle season, which runs roughly January through February. Just make sure to head to the Newberg Truffle Marketplace first to learn about truffles, before DIY-ing your truffle meal.
The full list of Yamhill County events that still have tickets is available here.
The full list of Eugene-area events that still have tickets is viewable here.