Truffles have an elegant and mysterious past. This highly prized culinary gem is not readily thought of as a staple in the Northwest food industry. Thanks to pioneers in the Oregon truffle Industry that all could very well change and others, such as Napa Valley, are looking to Oregon to see what happens next. A quick Google search will bring up a small bounty of information. Truffiers are taking foot hold, foodies are following with cautious delight. Wineries, already established in the Pacific Northwest are not shy about the likely bedfellows that truffle make. The missing link may well be the dogs.
At the 2011 Oregon Truffle Festival, an Italian gentleman approached our trainers and with great reserve asked how we train our dogs. Our trainers are never shy to share our unbridled enthusiasm for our training methods. As he seemed to warm to the conversation he confessed that he was simply appalled that truffles are harvested any way other than by dogs. The fact is, this is the Oregon Truffle industries one skeleton that is holding back much of our success.
The culinary value of Oregon truffles lies in the paws of canine harvesters. Unless you have experienced it first hand, the difference in the quality and aroma of rake harvested versus canine harvested truffles is simply vast. And therein lies the rub with so few dogs with their paws in the mud.
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