I’ve mentioned on this blog before that my mother was training her year-old chocolate lab, Sam, to hunt for truffles. My family lives out in the Pacific Northwest, where there are a few varieties of edible truffles that grow wild in the forests. More specifically, it turned out that there is an abundance of Oregon Black truffles around Olympia (though some spring whites may come soon).
Despite being an extremely unruly dog in general, Sam has been a very successful truffle hunter. Mom says they have found about 10 pounds of truffles over the course of the season. Even though Oregon truffles don’t fetch the prices of European truffles (which cost hundreds or even thousands per pound), it’s still a high-value item. Mom’s been trading them to local restaurants in exchange for meals.
I got to taste a couple of them (pictured above) when my dad happened to be in DC (this is his second time acting as a truffle courier). I shaved one on top of a mushroom and cheese omelet, and to be honest I didn’t think the truffle added all that much. But I really liked the compound butter I made, by mixing equal parts minced truffle and good butter. Spread on a pepper cracker, it was funky and fatty and delicious.