April, 1999 NATS Truffle Forage

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Mon Apr 5 13:12:22 EST 1999

In article <7e0a9r$d6q at portal.gmu.edu>,
  hkilpatr at osf1.gmu.edu (HENRY E. KILPATRICK JR.) wrote:
> Question:  almost everything I see on North American truffles pertains to
> Oregon.  While I have seen the NATS newsletter and I am sure it is a fine
> organization, I don't see any point in joining it if I'm just going to
> subsidize you west coast folks.  Do the same varieties grow in the east,
> is there a spring season here, and are there active members anywhere in
> the mid-Atlantic states?  Are there websites that discuss eastern
> truffles?
> --
> Buddy Kilpatrick

I don't blame you for questioning the presence of truffles in other parts of
the US. But the reality is, truffles have been found in most states of the
US. Mostly, however, they are ignored. It is hard to document something that
is never looked for.

The North American Truffling Society is something of the exception to that.
And dues to not *subsidize* it, the dues merely pay for the cost of
dispersing some of the information collected by its members. Typically, this
information consists of truffle articles, newsclippings, and responses to
truffle collections submitted to NATS for identification by Dr. James Trappe.

I sympathize with your comments. In 1972 while attending Oregon State
University, my then-botany professor, Helen Gilkey, suggested I join the
truffle group then forming. I replied that truffles were found in Europe, but
nothing had been found in North America.

I later learned that Gilkey's master's thesis while at Berkeley (about 1920?)
was The Tuberales of North America. Regretfully, Gilkey died before I could
apologize for my gaff.

I find a similarity between truffles and treasure: both are where you find
them. But if you never look...

Daniel B. Wheeler

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