Thursday, March 06, 2008

Adventure with the Mushroom King

A Deadly One
Originally uploaded by luluisforlovers

Wild foods expert Todd Spanier's specific love of mushrooms has earned him the title "The Mushroom King." This is also the name of the store he runs out of Daly City, a large warehouse painted sunshine yellow with Porcini mushroom illustrations that provides just about every kind of fungus one could hope to find popping up locally. He and his team gather mushrooms and ship them to well-known local restaurants such as Chez Panisse.

Last weekend, Spanier let the How to Homestead crew join him on a mushroom foray into the Santa Cruz mountains.

Picnic Time
Originally uploaded by luluisforlovers

Kevin Kunze, part of the camera crew, holds some of the mushrooms we gather along the way. These are Candy Caps. They have a sweet maple smell and taste. Todd even makes them into a gelato back at his shop.

Todd joked around with a Black Trumpet mushroom he found. The Black Trumpet mushrooms look like a (duh) black trumpet and have a musky chocoatey smell and a rich deep flavor. We found a bunch of these.

Hollywood in the middle of the forest... Todd documents a mushroom while we document a Todd.

This one is poisonous -- you can tell by the gill around the center of the stalk.

I was responsible for holding the poisonous ones... nice, huh?

At the end of the day, the King demonstrated how to make a delicious omelet featuring the mushrooms we harvested.

Here, I have recreated the dish at home -- to see how I do it, check out my visual step-by-step here.

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