FIRST CULTIVATED FRENCH BLACK TRUFFLE FOUND IN OREGON’S WILLAMETTE VALLEY
On February 28th 2013, the famous black truffle of Southern Europe (aka Perigord truffle or Tuber melanosporum), universally regarded as the ultimate luxury food, was harvested near Corvallis, Oregon in an orchard of inoculated hazelnut trees.
Dr. Charles Lefevre, owner of New World Truffieres, Inc. based in Eugene, OR supplied the inoculated trees for the orchard, and has produced truffle trees for many farmers across North America. The two acre orchard is owned by the first customer of New World Truffieres, Inc.
With retail prices reaching $1500/lb., Perigord truffles can be a very lucrative crop. Considering their remarkable value, the orchard owner understandably chooses to remain anonymous until security arrangements are made around the site in anticipation of higher yields in the future. Cultivation of Perigord truffles is well established in Southern Europe where the species originated, but remains a new and promising industry for American farmers.
The first truffle was harvested on Thursday February 28th, 2013 by Kris Jacobson and her Belgian Malinois, Ilsa of Umami Truffle Dogs in Veneta, Oregon. This initial success comes despite naysayers claiming that Western Oregon is too wet for cultivation of Perigord truffles.
Microscopic analysis by Dr. Lefevre shows spore morphology consistent with Tuber melanosporum. DNA analysis will be conducted at Oregon State University for verification.
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