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Dec 1, 2000 11:09 AM

Matsutake mushrooms

  • t

Has anyone seen matsutakes in the Bay Area? I usually buy my mushrooms at the Ferry bldg. farmers' market on Saturdays but have not seen these there.

I don't know too much about mushrooms and have only started experimenting with different varieties in my cooking. I love earthy, chewy, "meaty" mushrooms like porcinis. I had some matsutakes in a stewed rabbit/red-wine dish at Foreign Cinema last week, they exhibited the qualities I just listed, and it blew me away. So now I'm on a matsutake hunt. Any help would be appreciated!

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    Paul Spiegel

    You might try Maruwa, the Japanese grocery store on Post & Webster, or Uoki K. Sakai around the corner on Sutter Street. Remember that matsutake are VERY seasonal, and only seem to come around for a few weeks or so in California.

    Good luck!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Paul Spiegel

      Monterey Market in Berkeley has a good selection of mushrooms, also. I believe that I may have seen them there in the past. Haven't been there recently. Matsutake mushrooms are also very popular in Korea....any Korean stores around? Or try Ranch 99 market.

      1. re: Paul Spiegel

        Coincidentally, I was at Maruwa earlier today and can confirm that it just happens to be in stock right now!

        Because of the cost and how much flavor it provides, real Matsutake is only used in slivers. If a restaurant was using it in a stew, it probably was not the real thing.

        1. re: Jo Watanabe

          Matsutake is expensive when the cap is closed... the price can go be >> $100/lb. However, when the cap is open, the price drops to around $20/lb. I don't think there's much degradation in taste when the cap opens.

        2. re: Paul Spiegel

          is this a japanese grocery store like maruwa. i always go to maruwa but would like to see other stores too. do you have their exact address or phone number. also do you know of a korean market.
          thank you.

          1. re: maria

            Uoki Market, on Post near Laguna:

            Sakai K Uoki Co
            1656 Post Street
            San Francisco, CA 94115
            (415) 921-0514  

            There are a number of Korean markets in a two-block radius from Maruwa -- wander around and you're bound to find some.


          1. Hi!

            Berkeley Bowl is a good bet. I have seen matsutakes there before, but not recently. I was actually looking for these little buggers myself the last time I was at the Bowl (2 weeks ago) but I didn't see any. I was in Andronicos in the Sunset (Irving St.?) about a month ago and they had some. Be prepared for some sticker shock, they are mucho pricy! Good Luck!