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Dec 8, 2011 09:59 PM

Mushrooms at local markets

By markets I mean grocery or farmers.

Berkeley Bowl has been having some great looking and different mushrooms lately. My usual approach is to jot down the name and sometimes remember too look up the mushroom.

However, they had one of the most beautiful mushroom I've ever seen, Hawks wing which looked like the feathers of a bird. It was a super fresh-looking mushroom so I bought it. Unfortunately, like some stunningly beautiful people, there wasn't much behind the looks.

Anyway, I had mushroom madness that day and bought a bunch of others that were new to me and fresh-looking. The cauliflower mushroom that looked good a week ago was looking tired on this visit so I passed on that.

I thought this might be a good thread for people to note some of the more unusual mushrooms they've found.

Here's Windy's report (the insides of these turn pink when sauteed)

milk cap mushrooms at Far West Fungi

My reports on the General Boards about the mushrooms from my recent BB shopping trip

Good grief - Hawk's wing mushrooms?
Wouldn't buy these flavorless mushrooms again.

Fried chicken mushrooms
A bit crunchy, they are best in stews from what I've read

Pig's ear mushrooms
I thought these were great but what they tasted like didn't match another description on the web.

This was just a nice little link I stumbled across with tasting notes for a number of wild mushrooms

Wes's Ratings of Edible Wild Mushrooms

Far West Fungi FungiPedia

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  1. I have been getting beautiful matsutake mushrooms lately at Tokyo Fish Market. I think the season is just about over though. These are the most fragrant and flavorful I've encountered.

    They are expensive, but for about $8 I get 2-3 good-size mushrooms that I can divide in two, half to mix in with rice (chop and mix in pan with 1/2 cup mirin, 1/4 cup sake, and 1/3 cup soy sauce, then put under broiler a couple minutes, then mix with rice, yum!) and half I slice and put on top of the rice while it cooks. Sooo good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pauliface

      Not quite as pretty but still aromatic and tasty are the matsutake at BBowl right now for $9/lb. My favorite use is matsutake gohan (cooked with rice in kombu broth, rice wine, a little salt/soy). The aroma permeates the rice this way far better than in a risotto.

      1. re: rubadubgdub

        Yes! When I cook them in with rice, I add a little dashi & soy into the mix as well.

    2. Hen of the Woods / maitake and black chanterelles are among the tastiest of the unusual varieties I've had.

      Monterey Market used to be the best for wild mushrooms, not sure if that's true since the management change.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        When did the manager change?

        Last year, Monterey Market's black chanterelles (AKA black trumpets) and yellowfoot chanterelles were far superior to those at Berkeley Bowl. I was going to BB's a few times a week during chanterelle season, and I couldn't bring myself to purchase any of their lackluster offerings. Monterey was a goldmine.

        Black chanterelles are great--- they're fairly flat, and have a pleasant leathery texture. Yellowfoots are not as meaty as golden chanterelles, and they're small which makes them more difficult to clean.

        Monterey also had bags of candy cap mushrooms for $6 last year. If only to make your kitchen smell like maple syrup for weeks, they're great.

        1. re: hyperbowler

          Berkeley Bowl had some nice candy cap mushrooms that I bought with the others. I only bought a few and then just fried them. Here's more with a link to a FABULOUS idea of using the mushrooms as real mushrooms on a Buche de Noel.

          Candy Cap Mushrooms

      2. Just thought I'd add this link on the Chow mushroom article.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          That article 's bit about truffles is a garbled mess.

          King trumpets are a great value. More interesting flavor than most cultivated mushrooms, hard to believe they're related to oyster mushrooms. They're really cheap at Koreana Plaza.

          Koreana Plaza
          2328 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            They also are called King Oyster at times - the only thing is that some of them come from China, and I won't buy them. Monterey Market usually has non-Chinese ones. Sometimes BB only has the Chinese ones. Tokyo Fish usually has wrapped packages (US). I love these mushrooms.