Much like the Pinot vines that took root here in the 1970s and beyond, Oregon has become a budding location for the rare truffle. The annual Oregon Truffle Festival, January 24-26 in Eugene, is a weekend of culinary events dedicated to this rare, buried treasure, and draws guests from around the world.
It’s 4 a.m. The aroma of fresh bread comes from flaming ovens. Buttery croissants are rolled, cut and shaped by hand at Ken’s Artisan Bakery in Portland. An hour later, the sweet smell of fresh baguette dough wafts past four bakers in jeans, t-shirts and aprons, their heads down, their floured hands dividing and shaping smooth, long loaves. The oven door clanks as the bread goes in.
Kevin Zielinski’s eyes light up as he names the apple varieties he tends at his Willamette Valley orchard, just outside of Salem. Champagne Rienette. Douce Moën. Muscadet de Lense. St. Martine. The sinuous vowels and soft consonants even sound delicious. Eventually, they become fluid when Zielinski transforms these French heirloom apples into a traditional sparkling hard cider that leaves many searching for words.
Bailey’s family has been growing cherries in these hills for more than eighty years, when his grandparents made their first investment in a piece of farmland. Since then, Orchard View Farms has grown to include 2,050 acres in four counties. The orchard is home to twelve types of sweet cherries, from perennial favorites Bing and Rainier to more unusual choices, such as Sweetheart and Skeena.