Normally, we're the ones offering the guided foraging expeditions, but last weekend, the tables were turned when we experienced our very first Fungus Foray here in Northern California. The event was hosted by the Yuba Watershed Institute, and was surprisingly popular! We estimate about 250 people showed up to experience a guided forest walk and introduction to some of the area's edible mushrooms (and some not-so-edible varieties, too.
Besides fancy Lion's Mane mushrooms, Chanterelles, and enormous Boletus mushrooms, we were also surprised to discover a small variety of 'shroom (Mycetinis scorodonius) that tastes and smells just like garlic! Their flavor and aroma makes them easy to identify--a definite plus for novices like us.
One edible fungus we discovered that we will not be eating anytime soon is a vivid yellow variety that goes by the name of "Witches Butter" (Dacrymyces palmatus). The name alone is a bit of a turnoff, but apparently, it does have medicinal value and can be made into gummy bears (never our favorite!) for extra palatability.
Does the idea of getting out in nature and discovering edible foods interest you? If so, you might consider taking one of the last spots available on our 2020 La Dolce Vegan tour of Italy. We'll devote one day to foraging and learning to cook local delicacies from the Umbrian countryside, with an expert guide to show us the way. Mmmm! We're already hungry for wild arugula, radishes, cherries, berries, and more!