Oregon White Truffle Hunting With Jack Czarnecki

bringing the people behind our food to

life the truffles like no other food

that I know of

this is the classic Oregon truffle

forest douglas-fir between 15 and 30

years old

paradise truffles are just like Pinot

Noir they like a view they like a great

beneficial climate happy people with

appreciative palates it’s going to be

truffle hunting the movie there will be

mud now for the high-tech part the

truffle vesicle I’ve seen charge that

indicate that the epicentre of North

American white truffles is actually in

the northern Willamette Valley which is

where we are which is a great

happenstance for me because I can go

hunting truffles nearby truffles grow on

the roots of Douglas fir which are very

shallow and that’s the other reason you

can you can rake for truffles in Europe

they grow under hardwoods they’re under

much much denser harder soil the truffle

is actually a mushroom which figured out

a way to grow and yet not have nearly as

much spore dispersal as a full-grown

mushroom something because it stayed

underground these are a few spots where

I dug the last few weeks I found some

there but what you look for are little

telltale signs where animals have been

digging they’re really the only food

that depends on an animal consuming it

in order for the species to survive

that’s the reason truffles throw out

this amazingly complex grouping of gases

to attract animals to themselves what

the animals will then spread the spores

you can paint your own picture for

yourself and exactly how that happens

see this but that makes them unique

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right who

yep squirrel beat me to it again I’d

like to tell people that sometimes

you’re out there for 45 minutes an hour

two hours you’re not finding anything

and then you find this little tiny

truffle about like that well that’s

about a five minute truffle because it

shoots just enough endorphin into your

brain to keep you going for another five

minutes there’s one right there see it

that’s a it’s approaching full ripeness

may not be blowing off a lot of gas but

it’s going to be blowing gas pretty soon

and that’ll make it just right for

producing oil but then every once in a

while you get a white truffle about like

that that’s a two-hour truffle and that

shoots enough endorphins into your brain

so that you can go for another two hours

but the reward of finding it just kind

of keeps you going we find one you want

to find another one some more in here I

think mounds from previous year so

there’s one when you want to find one of

a certain size you want to get an even

bigger one there’s a certain amount of

aesthetics involved as well ah fishermen

for instance they’ll brag about the size

of their fish a truffle hunter will brag

about the size of his truck yeah so it

kind of keeps you going it sort of this

little game you play with yourself I

know it gets boring for a camp person

but I get excited every time I see one I

get that adrenaline going I’m totally

into the experience of digging truffles

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and bringing them out and finding the

real nice ones I’ve stopped trying to

solve problems when I’m out in the woods

digging truffles which a lot of people

would look at as pretty much of a of a

mindless exercise and you know what

that’d be totally right but that’s the

beauty of it it’s sort of a Zen sort of

thing in a lot of ways where you just

kind of let your mind go you’re

concentrating on one thing you’re

smelling the dirt you’re listening to

the birds you’re listening to a

pissed-off squirrel every once in a

while who’s looking at the truffle that

he was going to have for supper there’s

one I missed and now you’re just totally

enjoying that enjoying nature there is a

abundance of these truffles in this area

and no he’s amazed me that nobody ever

really bothered to capture their essence

you know and their oil until I started

researching and understand why it was so

difficult and that’s when I began my own

personal research not producing an

Oregon trophy this is without doubt the

most labor-intensive food producing

system in the

States harvesting the truffles and then

it takes anywhere from two to four weeks

to cure the truffles the oil over 20 day

period is infused with the truffles and

then the truffle oil has to be aged for

four to five months before it’s ready to

go it takes four to six months to

produce the soil from the time that the

truffles are harvest the most important

thing that you need to consider is how

the character of the truffle how those

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gases are going to get into the oil and

under what conditions we’re still in the

process of perfecting it but we’re a lot

farther along than we were four years

ago when we get when we G can produce it

we’re all set to go what I like about

the Oregon truffles is whether or not

I’m shaving it on dish you’re making a

truffle oil all of those gases that

constitute the character of that truffle

are in there and the great thing about

it is to expose somebody to an Oregon

truffle through the truffle oil or the

truffles themselves and have them say

god I had no idea nobody told me about

this before Oregon truffles aren’t

supposed to be this good and that’s what

I spent the last 15 years doing is

unveiling some of those mysteries as you

can see can take an awfully long time

to get a sufficient amount of truffles

to make oil you know let’s move down the

hill and back towards the house and they

kind of look and poke as I go they tend

to be fairly scattered yet some days are

better than others

I’m questioned about that one back to

the man

there is though truffles contained

upwards of 50 different volatile organic

compounds what we call VOCs so the

common a combination of all of those

compounds makes the olfactory reception

to a truffle oil something far more

complex and what we’ve ever experienced