Monday, January 26, 2015

Oregon Truffle Festival

A couple weekends ago, Mike and I attended the last day of the Oregon Truffle Festival.  Tickets were $22 each, including a wine glass for wine tasting.  This was our first time at the truffle festival.  We knew nothing about truffles, and I really wanted to know if they lived up to the hype.  Chefs talk about truffles the way perfumistas talk about ambergris. Rare, with a fragrance that will make you weak in the knees.  I have yet to get my hands on raw ambergris, but at least I could pay $22 and be exposed to real truffles.

This festival was nice because you didn't have to pay extra for samples, including the wine.  That's unlike the Astoria Seafood festival where you pay admission and then pay by the taste as well.

This table was set up right next to the entrance.  This was the only vendor selling actual truffles.  He was really nice because he put out sample truffles in wine glasses so you could pick up the glass and get a big whiff.  They had Oregon white truffles, Oregon black truffles, and French black truffles.  I'm just hoping I got the black truffles labeled correctly.

white truffles

Oregon black truffles

French black truffles

Mike is smelling a truffle

All 3 kinds smelled different.  It's hard to describe smells, and my description may be way off everyone else's, but here's what came to my mind as I smelled them.

white truffles: parmesan cheese, the smell of an Italian restaurant
Oregon black truffles: old animal scat, funk
French black truffles: fish oil

As we got to know the fragrance, we could later pick out the flavor as we tasted samples of truffle oil, truffle salami, truffle risotto, and truffle escargot butter.  

truffle oil is $35 for 5 oz

Mike tasting truffle escargot butter

Some shots of the vendors and crowds so you can see northwest style, and the types of people who attend a truffle event:

I got tired after a couple trips around the building, so I went to find a place to sit down.  I found that the building had an art gallery downstairs, and I rested there a while.  Mike was having fun talking to people and drinking free wine, so he stayed at the festival for another hour.  

We had purchased some truffle-infused marshmallows, and I ate one while I was sitting in the art gallery.  It was so awful.  I had to chew gum afterward to get the awful taste out of my mouth.  Later I gave some of the marshmallows to Mike, Libby, and Mae, and not one of them had anything nice to say about those marshmallows.

As we were leaving, we saw this beautiful rainbow.

In the end, we agreed that we really do not care for truffles, or they are way over-hyped.  You could just sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese on your food if you want a funky flavor.  Really.


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