Friday, January 19, 2007

Twice the Taste of Terroir - Part 1



Anna of Anna's Cool Finds has created a blogging event, A Taste of Terroir, surrounding the idea of terroir, which includes a sense of place for foods and traditional foods of an area. A good friend of mine is heading up to Oregon next weekend to experience a truly wonderful kind of regional food, the Oregon White Truffle. She will join family members at Shirewood Farm for the 2007 Oregon Truffle Festival. You can find them at: http://www.shirewoodfarm.com/ ShireWood Farm is best known for it's Oregon White Truffles ~ "the ultimate culinary delicacy."

There is a lot going on at the Oregon Truffle Festival and lots of the packages have sold out, but there are still some part of the event available if you make your reservation soon. Go to: http://www.oregontrufflefestival.com/ to find out more. The events include seminars, tours, dinners, a winery tour, and both a truffle dog demonstration and a foray to find truffles at ShireWood Farm.

The following is from the web site for the festival, as are the photos at the top of this post.

“Who ever says truffle, pronounces a great word, which awakens erotic and gourmand ideas both in the sex dressed in petticoats and in the bearded portion of humanity." Brillat-Savarin, 1825

Oregon truffles are emerging as one of the world's great delicacies, taking their richly-deserved place next to their legendary European cousins. The Second Annual Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene, Oregon brings together harvesters, chefs, growers and gastronomic aficionados in an unparalleled celebration of one of Oregon's most incredible treasures. The Oregon Truffle Festival, held during three brisk winter days starting January 26 and concluding on January 28, 2007, celebrates the magnificent Oregon truffles as they reach the peak of ripeness in their native soil. It is the first festival of its kind in North America, dedicated to sharing the experience of the chefs, foragers and fans of Oregon's wild truffles—from their hidden source in the forest to their glory on the table.

All events are located in and around Eugene, Oregon

In the rarified world of truffles, Oregon is known as the premier center of research and expertise outside of Europe. A lineage of eminent scientists has maintained that standing for almost a century, and continues to hold it to this day. Oregon is also blessed with an abundance of wild truffles with culinary qualities equal to those of Europe, and as with French grapes, Oregon has the perfect climate for cultivation of the renowned French truffles. As the ultimate culinary delicacies, truffles serve as emblems of the good life in every region where they grow, and in Oregon they are complemented by our wealth of other wild and cultivated gourmet foods, and an increasing number of extraordinarily talented and award winning chefs.

Despite Oregon’s long history of truffle research, its truffle industry is young and undiscovered. The few sources for wild truffles are avidly sought and jealously protected by harvesters who sell the truffles quietly here and there throughout the country. Secrecy pervades the world of truffles and is a part of their mystique, but it has not served Oregon’s truffles well. Here it also conceals knowledge necessary to bring the real potential of the Oregon truffles to light. Simple details like how to choose and handle a truffle to tease out its grandeur are known to only a few harvesters and chefs. As a result, Oregon truffles have not received the recognition that those who have experienced their essential magnificence know they deserve.

Keep in mind that it is winter, and Oregon can be wet, so dress appropriately. Although the average temperature in the southern Willamette Valley in January is mid-30’s to mid-40’s, and one in ten years can result in snow on the valley floor, it is just as likely to be a brilliantly sunny day in the last week in January. Thus, we recommend a both a raincoat and sunglasses!

Warm layers of wool or fleece, with a final waterproof, breathable layer are best. A scarf, gloves and a hat will make your head and hands happy.

The Oregon Truffle Festival 2007 offers a multitude of exciting ways to participate. Mark out January 26-28, 2007 in your calendar for your truffle experience!







2 comments:

rachel said...

You are so lucky to live someplace that celebrate such a rare food! I've never tried an official truffle before. Of course I have had many of the chocolate kind :)

Elle said...

Can't make it to Oregon this year 'cuz I'm job hunting, but maybe next year. I had a dish years ago with shaved truffles on top. The fragrance was odd to me, so I suspect that I didn't give it a chance. With what I've learned since maybe I'd prtend to be more sophisticated. :)