How to Hunt for Oregon White Truffles in Washington

Oregon white truffles are a delicacy among chefs and food lovers. Though they are named after Oregon state, they are found in the forest all over the Pacific Northwest including the state of Washington. These delectable tubers fruit underground. They have a symbiotic relationship with trees, meaning that truffle hunters will find the fruits of their hunt at the base to trees in the forest, particularly Douglas firs. A hike through the forest can result in a delicious addition to dinner.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Trowel
  • Paper Bag
  • Forest

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Truffle Hunting

Take a stroll through the forest when the weather is warmer. Because you have to dig the truffles up, it is easiest to hunt for truffles a week or so after a good rainfall.

Look for oak trees, beech trees, pines, hazelnut trees and Douglas firs, by which Oregon truffles are commonly found. Examine the base of the tree, searching for holes dug by forest rodents who eat truffles.

Rake the leaves from the base of the tree if you believe there are truffles underground. Dig two- to four-inch-deep holes carefully around the tree.

Remove the soil carefully as you dig and look for signs of truffles. These tuberous fungi grow anywhere between one to six inches in diameter. They have a warty texture and range in color including red, white, brown and black.

Pick the truffles you find. Dust the dust the dirt from them and store them in a paper bag to control moisture levels.

Tips & Warnings

  • Invest in a truffle/mushroom guide book. Before consuming any gathered fungii, check your findings against professional information and pictures. While there are no known poisonous truffles, poisonous mushrooms can easily be mistaken for the real thing. Many poisonous mushroom varieties begin as "eggs" below ground and look very similar to Oregon white truffles. Remember that Oregon white truffles are brittle and firm with a marbled-interior that ranges from beige to smokey in coloring. They also have an earthy smell. On the other hand, mushroom eggs are spongy or squishy.

References

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