What is a Truffle?
If you are not familiar with this food, it is nasty-looking, small (no bigger than a baseball, and often much smaller) fungus. It can be white, brown-black, or reddish depending where it is grown. Its taste and smell are distinctive and pungent. And it is wild, so no farm visits involved (though cultivated truffles are becoming available). Unlike mushrooms which are easy to spot, truffles grow underground in a symbiotic relationship with tree roots, specifically those of the oak, beech, poplar or hazel. Throw in specific moisture, soil PH, temperature, and mineral requirements, and truffles become a rare find. On a truffle vacation, you most likely will be holidaying in Europe, usually Italy, or perhaps France, though white truffles are found in Oregon.