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Wild Mushroom Show

Wild Mushroom Show


The Pacific Northwest is a great region for wild mushrooms. G studied fungi while he was at the UW stuying for his Botany degree. I remember foraging for wild chantrelles with directions he received in class in the forests just a few miles from Seattle. We collected about a dozen chantrelles and had them for dinner. Chantrelles are pretty easy to identify so I felt pretty comfortable eating the ones we found in the wild.

Over the years, we have looked off and on after the first rains for autumn but never really been foragers. I prefer to purchase my wild mushrooms in the market where I'm certain what I am eating. I wish it was an easy as it is in France where you can take your wild mushrooms to the pharmacy and have them identified.

This weekend we went to the 45th annual Wild Mushroom Show sponsored by the Puget Sound Mycological Society. At the show, the mushrooms were organized by spore type and displayed on moss and leaves as your would find them in the wild. Each mushroom was identified and denoted if they are edible, toxic or no use. There are several choice edible mushrooms in the area, chantrelles, boletes (known as porcini or cepes) and the matsutake. I really enjoyed the show and we should go looking for mushrooms again.

There was also a cooking demonstration by Kathy Casey. We had a sample of the polenta with wild mushrooms and watched her prepare a wild mushroom risotto. I need to keep both of these dishes in mind since they are perfect for autumn months.

Here are a few photos of the mushrooms from the show.

Wild Mushroom Show
Boletus edulis - This is known as porcini in Italy or cepes in France


Wild Mushroom Show
Matsutake - another choice edible mushroom

Wild Mushroom Show


Click through for more photos...

Wild Mushroom Show
Very poisonous

Wild Mushroom Show
Beautiful but deadly

Wild Mushroom Show
Some are shaped as stars - common name is earth star

Wild Mushroom Show
Some are shaped as teeth or coral


Wild Mushroom Show
And some are very phallic

Comments (4)

Amy:

Larry's father used to go foraging in the Catskills. He had secret spots for chantrelles. Sadly, my MIL always cooked them in some mysterious way that left them rubbery and slimy at the same time. It wasn't until much later that I discovered how good chantrelles could be!

Love this post! I would love to go to a show like that. I photographed a bunch of mushrooms recently. After the torrential Hurricane Hanna rains, I had literally hundreds of shrooms in my yard. I had that first beautiful caramel colored "very poisonous" one that you posted! I also had a star shaped one but it was closer to black.

Do you have a recommendation for a guidebook? I'd love to be able to ID some of the ones I found.

Annie - a good book is "North American Mushrooms - A Field Guide to edible and inedible mushrooms" by Orson Miller. It is a Falcon Guild. We have a copy that we bought back in the '70s and it is great.

Thank you! I'm going to go look for it on Amazon right now. I'm not brave enough to actually eat any that I find on my own, but I would like to know more about them overall.

A friend of mine used to hunt morels in the forests here in NC and then sold them to a French restaurant. She made a lot of money doing that!

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