At a private party in Eugene, Oregon earlier this year, the night’s climax arrived in the form of takeout pizzas and dozens of knobby white and black fungi, the main two colors in which truffles are catalogued. “Make it rain,” said the host, and the pizzas disappeared beneath the thick fur of freshly microplaned native Oregon truffles.
“I truly love Oregon’s truffles,” said one chef. “Think gasoline and pine needles.” Truffles contain an astonishing number of aromas, and the diesel-fuel aroma of Oregon white truffles has been identified by scientists; some even describe it as smelling like toluene, the water-insoluble liquid that makes glue a recreational inhalant. The heady aroma of musk, honey, and something beyond language filled the room.