Sunset

It's been way too long since Team Chicken's last group egg-feast. So when Sunset researcher (and Team Chicken member) Elizabeth Jardina came back from the Pacific Northwest last week with a bagful of knobbly wild Oregon truffles—both white (Tuber oregonense) and black (Leucangium carthusianum)—we decided it was time.

Team Chicken's breakfast on Friday: omelets and soft-scrambled eggs from our flock out back, with shavings of white truffle (left, in back) and black truffle.

 

This may seem extravagant until you consider that Elizabeth spent less than $25 on nearly 2 ounces of these things...which is a fraction of what truffles cost in Italy (T. magnatum) or France (T. melanosporum).

To be honest, Oregon truffles don't taste like Italian or French truffles. They're much, much milder. Still good and worth eating, though, especially at these prices. The blacks  have an interesting pineapply sweetness I think I'd like to get to know better. The whites have a wonderful ripe earthiness, but it's just a whisper of what a white truffle from Alba, in northern Italy, can do. A good Alba truffle will suffuse the room, the house (or restaurant), and the inside of your head with its crazy, musky fragrance...in the best possible way.

The best way to concentrate the flavor of these truffles is actually not to eat them over or folded into eggs, although they were just fine that way. Later that day, we discovered that they were most powerful when finely shredded on a Microplane and mixed with butter. We dolloped the truffle butter onto hot linguine and spread it on toast. Slurp, slurp. The rest we've saved (in the freezer, where its flavor will, we're told, keep developing) for our next egg feast.

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