Oregon truffles

STEPHANIE V. W. LUCIANOVIC

White truffles are divine, but hefty prices are not, so why not nuzzle out the fabulous fungus growing right under our noses? Daniel Wheeler of Oregon White Truffles has been developing truffles in northern Oregon since 1986.

Considering the price ― $300 per pound for Oregon truffles vs. $1,500 per pound for French and $3,000 per pound for Italian ― you can't beat these domestic gems. Wheeler's white truffles have an aroma of fresh-roasted hazelnuts, butter, and dried morels, and some chefs believe all Oregon white truffles have an aroma superior to that of their European counterparts. His black truffles carry scents of chocolate, garlic, and hemlock needles.

Shave a small amount of truffles raw over salads, pasta, grilled fish, or even scrambled eggs for a touch of decadence, Western-style. Order online (www.oregonwhitetruffles.com) or ask for Oregon truffles at local gourmet shops. For information on truffle-foraging expeditions, visit www.natruffling.org.