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Nov 18, 2007 12:27 PM

Looking for Chanterelles in East Bay

[This topic was split from the discussion found at - The Chowhound Team


So daveena describes the chanterelles being the star of the dish and now I wonder where (or if) one can get good chanterelles in the East Bay....I mean to cook with, not already cooked.

The ones I've bought have almost always been overly wet and mushy as if they've been sitting around the mushroom section for too long. Is there anybody at a local farmers' market that carries them? I've seen the mushy, limp, sad ones at both Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market.

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  1. I've bought them from the mushroom people at the Berkeley Farmer's Market in the past.

    1. Yes, the Tuesday and the Saturday markets in Berkeley have been having really nice chanterelles, and maitake, and occasionally "porcini" —BTW, is the local boletus less flavorful than the Italian/French version? I remember a pasta dish with fresh porcini flown in from Italy as one of the most sublime things I've ever eaten, and never have gotten close with local boletus.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Armoise

        We have several boletes in California that can be called porcini - Boletus edulis, B. aureus, B regius, B. appendiculatus, B. rex-veris and B. barrowsii - to name a few. The way they are dried makes a difference in my opinion - ventilation with no added heat is my preferred method. Quality fresh mushrooms processed with care will become quality dried. The various species mentioned above are all unique in flavor to the discerning taste buds but all have the robust porcini flavor in general.
        South Africa is exporting the highest quality fresh porcini at this time - tons of worm free buttons.
        Chile has some dried boletes that utilize heat generated from burning wood in their drying process and they are amazingly good.
        If the boletes you had can be described as sublime - my guess is that preparation was sublime and not the mushrooms.

      2. Costco in Concord had some lovely ones today. I know, I was surprised too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Janet

          Second that, when they have them they are good and affordable. You can also check out the mushroom guy in the ferry building

        2. The best place to get chanterelles in the East Bay is where they grow - amongst Coast Live Oak. This year isn't as good as last year but still serious poundage can be found if one is willing to put forth the effort. I went today with a couple of friends around Moraga and we found about 10 lbs - last year we would have found ten times that.

          9 Replies
          1. re: echinoderminator

            Edit: quarantine apparently does not apply to mushrooms. Good.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I don't quite understand your quarantine view. The mushrooms you are getting at the farmers market, Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market are very often picked in the East Bay Hills. For those that get poison oak - they make their choice. My friends that get it use technu and latex gloves, seems to work fairly well. More relevant than them being quarantined is the fact that if you are caught by the EBRPD cops then you will get a $200 fine, for me that is just part of the fun. The mushrooms are beautiful and delicious because they want to be eaten.
              Nothing gets better than going out in the hills, sweating your guts out, breathing good clean air and coming home with a bounty.
              Very often the mushrooms supplied to the markets are just not processed correctly. When I get home with a batch, they are cleaned with water and then set out to "cure". Once the water content is down to the right level, they are ready for proper cooking.

              Berkeley Bowl
              2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

              1. re: echinoderminator

                I don't have a view of the quarantine, I'm just pointing out that it exists.

                Commercial chanterelles often come from Oregon or Washington.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  The chanterelles being sold in the bay area this time of year are from the bay area.
                  Can you post the specific link to the quarantine please.
                  I can understand Chernobyl mushrooms being quarantined but edibles in ca is just an example of an immature food culture.

                  1. re: echinoderminator

                    I posted the link. It's a federal quarantine on the Light Brown Apple Moth.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I read through some of it but found no reference to wild mushrooms. Can you copy and paste the part that is relevant?

                      Edit: I read the "Do and Don'ts" in the link. I don't see any mention of mushrooms. It talks about wreaths, cut flowers, green vegetaion, fruits and vegetables. Technically, mushrooms are not a vegetable. The moth has nothing to do with mushrooms.

                      1. re: echinoderminator

                        I guess you're right. If mushrooms don't host the moths, then they're not covered by the quarantine. Good.

                        1. re: echinoderminator

                          Official word from my contact at CFDA Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services: "Mushrooms are not a known host for light brown apple moth and they are not a plant."

              2. re: echinoderminator

                Interesting, my coastal patches are long past but inland 20 miles I'm still getting nice hauls, sometimes even under scotch broom. You have to love a chanterelle season that lasts 4 months plus!

                Also, my local store has long since stopped stocking them while the wild ones are still fruiting well.

              3. I've gotten beautiful ones at the Bowl and Monterey Market. Depends on how long they've been sitting around, I suppose. The mushroom stand at the Berkeley Saturday farmers market often has them, but the prices are higher.