Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wild Mushroom Hunt

Sparassis, a.k.a. Cauliflower Mushroom, in its natural setting

While hanging out with fellow mushroomers at MSSF Summer Picnic, Chef Pauly and I decided to go hunt for porcini today. Initially, we wanted to go to San Francisco, but 1. I don't like the idea of parking in San Francisco, 2. I wanted to go somewhere more peaceful than the crowded city. This morning we headed out for Salt Point State Park. It's about 2 hours of driving from the east bay. I thought it would be a nice day trip regardless whether we found porcini. Besides, I have been hearing about Salt Point for the last 5 years and figured it was time to check it out.

Stump Beach, Salt Point State Park

We took a hike in the woods poking around the pine needles and dried leaves. We found some wild mushrooms but none were good to eat. There was no sight of porcini anywhere. As we were heading back to the parking lot, I suddenly noticed a head of cauliflower mushroom at the foot of a big tree. During my very first mushroom foray in January, 2006, lead by legendary David Aurora, someone found a large beautiful head of cauliflower mushroom. I have never forgot the sight of it. When I spotted that whitish blob in the dirt under the tree, I knew it was cauliflower. I carefully wiped away most of the dirt on it and dug it out.

I also remember it being quite tasty. I'll have to show it to Master Ken tomorrow on the first day of Mushroom Cultivation class.

Captured Cauliflower Mushrooms

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