PBS Food's newest episode tracks the rise of the American truffle. Leading the way? America's cutest dogs. Host Kelly Cox visits a truffle convention in Italy before heading stateside to see how truffle hunts work in Oregon. Here now, five takeaways on the state of truffle hunting in the U.S.:
1. Most truffle hunters in Italy are men, and most of them don't even tell their wives their secret hunting spots.
2. Oregon has been hosting a truffle festival for nine years straight, and has been attempting to grow truffles — with varying degrees of success — for twice that long.
3. Most truffle hunters in the U.S. are women. Most truffle hunters in both Europe and the U.S. use a dog as their guide.
4. Any dog — old, young, any breed — can be trained to hunt truffles. And Jim Sanford of Tennessee's Blackberry Farm is leading the charge to train a new class of dogs.
5. Keeping a truffle hunting dog from eating the truffle they dig up is just as hard in the U.S. as it is in Italy.