2024 Events

 2024 Joriad Truffle Dog Championship

Science & Education

Truffle Dogs

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The Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship that took place February 10, 2024 was a huge success!

We had so much fun at this year’s competition. Thank you to everyone who competed and everyone who cae out to cheer for these talented pups! Click the links below for an excellent write up and great video piece.

Canine contestants sniff out truffles in annual Oregon competition.

See the dogs go in this LIVE segment!

 

Merlin Sheldrake and Heather Arndt-Anderson head up a nature walk.
Merlin Sheldrake and Heather Arndt-Anderson head up a nature walk.

We had Fun(gi)

A guest dispatch from the Oregon Truffle Festival.

By Hannah Wallace  |  The Windfall Dispatch
March 31, 2024

A few weeks ago, I attended the Oregon Truffle Festival, where I got to spend time with renowned mycologists Merlin Sheldrake and Christine Fischer, as well as self-taught mushroom cultivator and mycology influencer William Padilla-Brown. This year, the organizers changed the format. Instead of a fancy hotel, we gathered at Camp Westwind, a remote former YMCA camp on the Oregon Coast.

2024 Oregon Truffle Festival

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February is Oregon Truffle Month as Proclaimed by Oregon Governor Tina Kotek

By Barbara Barrielle | Palate Press Feature Story
February 15, 2024

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has designated February as Oregon Truffle Month in a signed Proclamation dated February 6, 2024. The Oregon Truffle Festival, a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 with the mission of building appreciation for Oregon’s native truffles, submitted the application for the designation. The signed proclamation arrives in time for the 2024 truffle season and the Oregon Truffle Festival’s winter events.

The signed Proclamation reads:

WHEREAS: Oregon is recognized as one of the top five truffle regions in the world and Oregon truffles are among the world’s preeminent culinary delicacies; and

WHEREAS: Truffles are a form of mycorrhizal fungus that develops underground in symbiotic association with the roots of trees. Truffles are the “fruit” of these fungi; and

WHEREAS: Oregon is home to four native truffle species that are recognized for their culinary value: the Oregon Winter White Truffle (Tuber oregonense), the Oregon Spring White Truffle (Tuber gibbosum), the Oregon Black Truffle (Leucangium carthusianum), and the Oregon Brown Truffle (Kalapuya brunnea); and

WHEREAS: Oregon truffles provide an economic incentive for landowners to keep forest ecosystems intact since truffle patches are set aside for carbon sequestration, oxygen generation, restoration of salmon spawning habitat, and wildlife migration corridors; and

WHEREAS: February marks the peak of Oregon truffle season drawing hundreds of people from around the country who visit Oregon’s rural communities where truffles are found, benefiting local communities.

 

Charles Lefevre and Leslie Scott recieve the official Proclamation.
Charles Lefevre and Leslie Scott recieve the official Proclamation.

NOW,
THEREFORE: I, Tina Kotek, Governor of the State of Oregon, hereby proclaim February 2024 to be OREGON TRUFFLE MONTH in Oregon and encourage all Oregonians to join in this observance.

Gourmet getaway: Truffle hunting in Oregon

By Bruce Sach | Special to the Globe and Mail
January 11, 2023

As a diehard cat lover, I’ve never considered having a favourite kind of dog. But my attitude toward dogs changed when I got to know an English Shepherd at a premium truffle event in Eugene, Ore.

Named Cinnamon Rose, she has placed in the top five, three years running, at the Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship, held every January. James Taylor of Cottage Grove, Ore., revealed to me that he started training her to recognize the odour of truffles at an early age. (Truffles in this context refers to the mushroom, not the chocolate.)

A competitor and his dog sniffing for truffles.
A competitor and his dog sniffing for truffles. / Carole Jobin, The Globe and Mail

With a bit of training, any breed of dog can hunt Oregon truffles

By Samantha Swindler | The Oregonian/OregonLive
March 2, 2022

Any dog can be a truffle dog.

Corgis, dachshunds, beagles, Labs. There’s no pedigree needed to successfully seek out one of the most expensive delicacies on Earth – which happens to grow naturally right here in Oregon.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff / OPB
Kristyna Wentz-Graff / OPB

North America’s only truffle dog championship comes roaring back

By Arya Surowidjojo | Oregon Public Broadcasting
February, 19, 2022

After a one-year pandemic hiatus, the Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship returns to Eugene, Oregon.
It’s truffle season in Oregon, and the game is afoot (apaw?). The annual Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship is a Winter Olympics of sorts for amateur truffle hunters and their truffle dogs.

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.