Hunt for truffles just beginning in Fraser Valley

Valuable, but elusive, mushrooms can fetch $3,000 per kilogram – but B.C. 10 years behind Oregon's industry.

  • Feb. 3, 2017 12:00 p.m.

Perigord truffles have been found in B.C.

The Fraser Valley might be home to the bulk of British Columbia’s mushroom industry, but when it comes to growing the most valuable type of fungi, the region still has some catching up to do.

That’s according to Abbotsford mycologist Sharmin Garmiet, who spoke last week at the Pacific Agriculture Show.

In an interview before her talk, Garmiet told The News that while B.C. has both native and cultivated truffles, the province is still around 10 years behind Oregon when it comes to sourcing the pungent mushroom locally.

Truffles pack an incredibly strong aroma, and you wouldn’t want to eat one by itself, but for aficionados, the mushrooms can add an unparalleled taste to a whole range of dishes.

Their potency, along with the difficulty with which they can be cultivated, makes truffles incredibly valuable; Garmiet says she buys truffles for about $85 an ounce, a price that works out to around $3,000 per kilogram.

The mushrooms, though, are so strong that you only need a tiny amount to transform a dish. Truffle shavings are a popular way to use the mushroom, and Garmiet says just putting a truffle in a sealed container with rice or egg can do wonders.

Truffles have traditionally been found in B.C. in small batches by lucky connoisseurs. But knowledge of local truffles is growing.

“It’s a baby industry and we are about 10 years behind Oregon,” Garmiet said. “Here in B.C., slowly, we now have some pretty good dog handlers. They go out and find the truffles, and they are bringing them to local chefs, and they are slowly experimenting with them and developing a cuisine that is really specific to B.C.”

But the province also now boasts a group – the B.C. Truffle Association – dedicated to both sniffing out native varieties of truffles and cultivating them; with a lot of work, they can be grown in tree orchards. Garmiet, herself, is experimenting with cultivating truffles on her own land. But it’s not an easy endeavour.

An Abbotsford hazelnut farm that had produced a truffle was hit by a blight disease that has stunted that project.

“It’s not like you can build a barn or build a greenhouse,” Garmiet said.

The aim is to develop an industry to allow local chefs to develop dishes based around locally grown truffles, like in Oregon.

There, Garmiet said, “the culinary industry has developed a cuisine that really showcases native truffles.”

The B.C. Truffle Association holds its second annual Truffle Festival over three days from Feb. 4 and 6 at locations throughout the Lower Mainland. For more info, visit

Just Posted

VIDEO: emergency landing near Langley airport

Plane lost power during take-off

Crash on 200 Street in Langley Township

Report of traffic congestion following late morning accident

Surrey’s Justin Sourdif to debut for Vancouver Giants tonight in Langley

Last month, he suited up for Team BC in the WHL Cup and was named tournament all-star.

Heavy downpours expected in parts of Metro Vancouver

Heavy rain will begin to ease off Sunday evening as the frontal system moves south out of the area

Police investigate string of overnight fires in North Delta

Suspected arson caused damage to vehicles, signage in the area, Delta Police say

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Crash shuts down Highway 91 in Richmond for hours

The stretch of highway was closed for more than 6 hours due to a multi-vehicle accident

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Most Read