Reports are coming in from the Willamette Valley and from the Umpqua area that winter chanterelles are in abundance. Also hedgehogs and black trumpets, all good eating and easy to identify. Looks like a trip over the pass is in order! What are you finding?
Black trumpets seem to refer to both Craterellus fallax and Craterellus cornucopioides, also called Horn of Plenty. These are not easy to see in the forest, but are worth the effort!
Hedgehogs start fruiting as soon as the weather turns cold and may continue through the winter months if you are lucky, especially along the coast. They look like yellow chanterelles from the top, but if you turn them over – yes, little teeth on the underside of the cap. Very easy to identify and very tasty!
This may be a recession, but Oregon truffles are attracting those who are willing to pay for their wonderfulness. Those who attended the Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene on Jan.28-29 were delighted, even if they only attended the market. The festival offered truffle hunting field trips, truffle growing seminar, truffle dog training, truffle cooking lessons with reknown chefs, truffles and wines, incredible meals, and more. Put it on your calendar in December for 2011 because it sold out this year even with the festival packages costing $525-1050 per person. The grand dinner was only $175 and the market most affordable with a $20 entrance fee.
Here are Bob C.s comments on his market experience:
I went to the truffle fest, but only the marketplace. Everything else is too expensive. There were lots of truffles for sale. There were great samples of truffle butters, truffle desserts and fancy foods. Premrose, famous for winning the 2010 chocolate fest in Ashland with their rasperry rose chocolate made a white truffle white chocolate truffle. It was great! I had lots of black trumpets so I brought some for friends from CMS who were there. One of the truffle sellers gave me a few black truffles in exchange. There were several local farmers, free range meat vendors and artisan cheesemakers there (all with really great samples!). Best of show in cheeses for me was a truffle cheese. Missionary chocolates was there with several flavors including their signature meyer lemon truffle. 2 coffee roasters were there and several other vendors, all with free samples.