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Truffles - Found Some, Now What?

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CoastalLocal Dec 14, 2010 08:58 AM

Last night while hiking I discovered some truffles on my large wooded property. My question is, now what?!?

I am by no means a truffle connoisseur. I am doing my best to read up on them, identify the strain thriving on my property (so far, they appear to be “Oregon White Truffles”). I have removed and sliced just one, it looks to be “underdeveloped” at this time (the fine membranes and pockets have not yet thoroughly formed). So I am giving them more time to mature.

How does one like me sell truffles? Should I contact a local restaurant, or high end market?

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  1. Ruth Lafler RE: CoastalLocal Dec 14, 2010 09:06 AM

    I'd call Far West Funghi at the Ferry Building -- they can at the very least tell you more about your truffles.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler
      c
      CoastalLocal RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 14, 2010 09:38 AM

      Thanks for the suggestion! I was just thinking of heading down to the ferry building to take a look (and maybe tomorrow bring my truffle for their thoughts).

      As for smell, earthy, musky, its strong. (and I am still not positive it is a truffle, so I am not yet tasting!)

      1. re: CoastalLocal
        Robert Lauriston RE: CoastalLocal Dec 14, 2010 09:51 AM

        The Mycological Society of San Francisco might be the best place to get help identifying what it is.

        http://www.mssf.org
        http://www.mssf.org/cookbook/truffles...

    2. Robert Lauriston RE: CoastalLocal Dec 14, 2010 09:15 AM

      What's it smell like?

      1. eatzalot RE: CoastalLocal Dec 14, 2010 09:46 AM

        If it was underground and smells truffly or mushroomy it's likely a truffle.

        Note there've been many past threads re truffles and the cautions (re limited flavor and aroma) about those other than classic types from classic truffle-growing regions. The Bay Area has a long history (I recall at least back to middle 1980s) of people finding truffles in the woods, they're actually common around large tree growths. Alas, generally they've been, like most truffle species (Davidson I believe identified something like 50 examples), weak in aroma and flavor and not something to get chefs or retailers interested.

        (This reminds me slightly of a perennial topic of newcomer posts on online wine discussions: I just found an old bottle behind my mother's refrigerator, vintage 1969. How rich will this make me? Unfortunately such wines are usually worthless because poorly stored, if they even were quality products to start with.)

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/412896

        1. c
          CoastalLocal RE: CoastalLocal Dec 14, 2010 10:02 AM

          Smells like mushroom /earth, but doesn't have that "garlicy" smell that (cheap) truffle oil has, so I don't know... Found underground (we were doing trail maitenance), in old growth forest.

          I don't think I am going to get rich off of these, or quit my day job ;) But, if I could add some holiday money to my pocket, it would be worth it to me to harvest them. Not to mention I am sure a few of my foodie friends would appreciate some as a gift. - But, they may prove worthless, which would be of no cost to me.

          5 Replies
          1. re: CoastalLocal
            Robert Lauriston RE: CoastalLocal Dec 14, 2010 10:10 AM

            The species of truffles that command high prices don't grow around here.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              c
              CoastalLocal RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 14, 2010 12:34 PM

              Very well maybe true, and these maybe worthless, but from what I understand there is a market (if even it is selling at my friends farmer's market booth) for Oregon White Truffles.

              Tuber oregonense (“Oregon White Truffle”):
              Distribution: Northern California to Northern Washington west of the Cascade Range from sea level to about 2000 feet.

              From what I understand, the first "Oregon White Truffle" was discovered on the CA coast between Santa Cruz and San Francisco (where I am located). So I thik they do grow in this area.

              1. re: CoastalLocal
                Robert Lauriston RE: CoastalLocal Dec 14, 2010 12:40 PM

                Here are pictures of the two species called Oregon white truffles, though given the poisonous varieties out there you'd better have a mycologist identify what you've got:

                http://www.natruffling.org/faqtuber.htm

                I don't think anyone I know bought them more than once.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
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                  SteveG RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 14, 2010 12:59 PM

                  I have bought and enjoyed oregon whites several times in Oregon. Less successfully down here--they seem to have more sensitivity to how they are handled and how ripe they are when sold.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    c
                    celeryroot RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 14, 2010 01:55 PM

                    I agree I find them dull and not worth it.
                    Also, I highly suggest you follow Robert's suggestion and have an expert identify as some of these things can cause a very quick death due to shut down of functions , especially kidney.

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