Oregon’s Truffle Festival is approaching. Between January 27 and 29, 2012, truffle enthusiasts, chefs and foragers will gather to celebrate this smelly delicacy priced at nearly $1,000 per pound.

Next year’s Festival comes after Australian mycologist (fungus biologist) Dr. Nick Malajczuk’s extraordinary success in growing truffles on a large scale outside of France. Between June and August this year, a fungus-inoculated 80-acre hazelnut and oak tree orchard produced 3.3 metric tons of Perigord truffles, proving that large-scale commercial production is possible outside France’s borders.

The Oregon Truffle Festival is timed to coincide with the ripeness peak of Oregon truffles. During the festival, visitors can attend seminars, truffle dog training, a growers’ forum, which is an annual gathering for growers, purveyors, researchers and journalists interested in keeping up with the latest in truffle science and farming methods, participate in a truffle recipe contest and, of course, eat truffles.

Dr. Malajczuk’s lecture will culminate a day of presentations from truffle researchers as part of the growers’ forum.

“These results are a game changer,” said Dr. Charles Lefevre, mycologist and co-founder of the Oregon Truffle Festival. “We’ve seen a number of small-scale successes around the planet over the past decade, but now that returns from one season in a single orchard can be measured in the millions of dollars, and the number of successful orchards is entering the thousands, the level of interest is becoming intense.”

Interested in this pungent treat? Visit the Oregon Truffle Festival website for more information.

Read about Jacqueline Harmon Butler’s truffle hunt on GoNOMAD.

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