Washington Black Truffles

  Truffles, an edible fungus that grows on the roots of trees, don't just grow in Europe. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A truffle is a fungal fruiting body that develops underground and relies on being eaten for spore dispersal. Almost all truffles grow on tree roots and are therefore usually found in close association with trees.

There are hundreds of species of truffles, but the fruiting body of some (mostly in the genus Tuber) are highly prized as a food. Brillat-Savarin called these truffles "the diamond of the kitchen." Edible truffles are held in high esteem in French, northern Italian and Istrian cooking, as well as in international haute cuisine.

Truffles grown in the Pacific Northwest in Washington and Oregon, including white and black truffles. They are generally available during the late fall and winter. Because truffles have not, to date, been successfully cultivated, we must rely on foragers like Foraged & Found Edibles to bring them to us.

For more information on truffles, go to Wikipedia or wiseGeek.