Exploring Oregon Truffles

Truffle Dogs

Science & Education

Culinary

In Nicolas Cage’s ‘Pig,’ How Much Is the Truffle Hog Worth Anyway?

By Victoria Petersen, New York Times
July 16, 2021

In the new film “Pig,” Nicolas Cage plays a prominent Portland chef named Robin Feld who left the city’s high-end restaurant scene to live in the Oregon wilderness, where he forages for truffles with his beloved pig. The reclusive chef is forced to re-emerge in the city after 15 years away to search for the beloved pig, which was stolen from him late one night.

“Most truffle hunters around the world use trained dogs,” said Charles Lefevre, a forest mycologist and founder of the Oregon Truffle Festival and New World Truffieres, a company that sells inoculated seedlings to truffle growers. “Almost nobody uses trained pigs. He said he knew of one working truffle pig in North America, on Vancouver Island in Canada.

Charles Lefevre and his dog, Dante. Photograph by Eric Wolfinger for Eating Well by Rowan Jacobsen.

Charles Lefevre hunting truffles with his dog, Dante. Photographed by Eric Wolfinger for Eating Well by Rowan Jacobsen.

Oregon Truffles on OPB’s Superabundant

Oregon Public Broadcasting just launched Superabundant, a new series exploring the unique foods of Oregon – starting with Oregon truffles. Our own Dr. Charles Lefevre spent time in the field with Superabundant, sharing what makes Oregon such a special place for truffles. With four native truffle varieties found in our forests and a robust track record for cultivating European truffle varieties, Oregon is unquestionably the epicenter of truffles in North America.

This video is a must-watch for anyone looking to learn more about truffles: how they grow, how they are harvested (with a little help from our dog friends), and how they have inspired a symbiotic relationship between Oregon chefs, artisans, foragers, growers, and scientists.