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Sep 22, 2006 06:24 PM

any mushroom hunters out there?

i want to go pick some wild mushrooms this fall. has anyone been mushrooming in the area? any tips or particularly good places to go? any recommended books? i borrowed this one from a friend and it seems quite helpful:

anyone know where i can find giant puffball mushrooms?

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  1. The Mycological Society of San Francisco is a good resource.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      They are the ONLY source. Finding mushrooms is easy...knowing the poisonous ones in a given region is the hard part. There are AT LEAST a half dozen people each year who come from somewhere else, hunt mushrooms, and end up with transplanted livers, or pushing up daisies.

      Certain mushrooms are no-brainers, but others have poisonous cousins that apparently (since I've never hunted elsewhere) look alike.

      Arora has written the authoritative books, small you have, large referred to below. But would you trust your life, quite literally, to a book? The Mycological Society runs hunting weekends, lectures, etc.

    2. yes! lets good when it starts getting rainy =)

      1. "Mushrooms Demystified" by the same author is pretty much the bible on the subject.

        There are quite a few edible varieties in the Bay Area - we pick loads of Chantrelles most years, and have also had success with Oysters, Bluetts, and Boletus. The recommendation to get involved with the Mycological Society is very good advice indeed - it seems that each fall I read about someone dying from eating wild mushrooms.

        Also, few mushroom hunters will be willing to share their secrets.

        Good Luck!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sam B

          Some friends of mine are active in the Mycological society, and I agree they are a great resource, and to clarify, would add that, while some mushroom hunters might not want to share their 'secret' spots to look, the ones I know are very happy to share their knowledge about which mushrooms are safe to eat...(and I've had some great chantrelles at their home).

          1. re: Sam B

            "Mushrooms Demystified" The book sounds great! I'm going to see if the library has it then sign up for a local class in the Spring.


          2. Mushroom hunting used to be my passion growing up and I have fairly good knowledge on the subject. However, I would caution people who, like me, are experienced in picking mushrooms in different parts of the world. Same species perfectly digestible in, say, Black Forest may cause problems when picked around Orinda. Not to mention annual deadly ritual of picking Ammanitas by South-East Asians confusing them with similiar looking edible kind back home.

            I remember fondly some trips to Mendocino coast, combining steelhead fishing with mushroom hunting. Alas, my fear of ticks redirected me to the mushroom isle in Berkeley Bowl...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bigos

              Wow you caught a Steelhead! Do you flyfish?


            2. Yup. I grew up mushroom hunting as a kid (I'm Czech).