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Aug 19, 2013 08:45 AM

Foraging Board?

I'd love to see a mushroom board. They ain't animal/meat and they ain't plant/vegetable, we're talking a whole different KINGDOM. Lots of ignorance about the topic. The US is largely a mycophobic country, but that's changing. Still, I don't know if there are enough mycophiles here to carry a board... yet.

But what about a foraging board? A hunter/gatherers board? Not everyone has land for a garden or a backyard for chickens. Wild foods are getting more attention, but it isn't like they ever really went away.

It would encompass wild plants, fish, game & mushrooms, aspects of gathering/catching (locations, regulations, methods) and the obvious prep and recipes, festivals, specialty restaurant and chefs.

It's a happening thing and it would get more interest if it was all under one roof, errr, on one board.

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    1. I could see it BUT only if mushrooms were not allowed to be discussed. I think it's just too dicey for people to advise others about foraging for mushrooms unless they're out in the forest together. In my book, it's right up there with giving medical advice on a non-medical board.

      2 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        c. oliver,

        I hear you and I feel you and a couple years ago the only thing I would have said after your comment would have been AMEN. But I've learned a few things since then, not the least of which is how mycophobic our culture is. Americans, most, don't do wild mushrooms. We fear them. We are taught to LOATHE toadstools. We're so afraid them them that many people won't touch them. And that is telling because even poisonous mushrooms are not venomous mushrooms and touching them won't hurt you.

        But that is how much we fear them.

        Yet mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungus and you consume fungus every day: bread, cheese, beer, wine.

        Hmmm, beer and wine? Now those are DANGEROUS. Do you know how many people are killed by alcohol compared to mushrooms? Even in places where mycophagy is common, alcohol is far more dangerous.

        There are berries that are poisonous. Fish can be poisonous, think about ciguatera! And frankly, more people are killed by eating rare hamburger than mushrooms and there would be a huge uproar if the discussion of burgers was banned on the boards.

        Fungi is a Kingdom, one that is as important to life on Earth as Animalia and Plantae! Millions of species. Some are very tricky to identify. But some, and happily some of the most delicious wild mushrooms are both common and easy to identify.

        If , for example, sparrow were poisonous, you might decide not to hunt anything in that order, give all the passerines a pass, even if some were good, safe, nutritious and delicious. But if ostriches were good to eat, surely you could tell them from other birds, even emus and rheas.

        And there aren’t as many really dangerous mushrooms as you think. There are some that will kill you and others that will make you so sick you’d wish you were dead. There are mushrooms that are find and delicious and no problem to eat UNLESS YOU DRINK ALCOHOL with them, and then, oh baby, are you gonna be sick.

        Some mushrooms are eaten with great enthusiasm by most people, but are digested well by others. My mom can’t eat chicken of the woods. I can eat the $h*t out of it, and my digestion can be very touchy with other things. Maybe you can eat oysters. They make so ill I dunno whether to ride the bus or drive it, if you know what I mean.

        And there are a lot of mushrooms that just don’t taste good, are too bitter, or flavorless or yucky. And then there are those that some people like and others don’t. Some people love broccoli, some don’t. I have a friend who is revolted by red meat, while my son loves nothing better than a bloody rare steak.

        I’m new at this and I’m sticking to the screamingly obvious mushrooms. Things like hen of the woods, chicken mushrooms, black trumpets and chanterelles. As time goes by I learn more. I can tell the safe puffballs from the toxic ones. I don’t do a lot of the gilled mushrooms, but I sure lovely the honey mushrooms that you can gather by the bushel in the fall. I make a point of learning if there are nasty look alikes at the same time I am learning the new mushroom. I tend to eat the common edibles because I see them more often. The more I see something, the better I know it. I’m even starting to learn some of the boletes.

        Mushrooming requires that one is responsible. But so does food prep and cocktails. The thing is, the more you know about these things, the safer you are. We can’t force people to be sensible, but that’s a bad reason to withhold information. In the end, that never works out. Because foolish people will do foolish things no matter what.

        I am, like I said, a beginner. I have a stack of books and I am a member of an excellent mushroom club. And I’ve found FIVE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF CHANTERELLE IN MY TOWN THIS YEAR! You cannot buy these things and they are AWESOME.

        If there is to be a wild food board, you don’t want to ban fungi as a topic. Yes, somebody might do something stupid. But they might make poison ivy into a salad too. And there’s plenty of dangerous food for sale in the average supermarket.

        In what part of the country do you live c. oliver? Come on down, not the primrose path, but the mushroom path. You are a foodie. You will dig it.

        Five kinds of chanterelles.

        Black trumpets.

        and if you live in the right part of the country, morels. OMG!

        1. re: Pipenta

          You're an amazing and persuasive writer. I hereby withdraw my objection. And I live in No. CA and love morels!!! Which I understand can be one of the safer ones to forage as they don't look like much other than false morels and there are distinct differences in those. Good luck.

      2. I think there should be a foraging board but they should hide it on the site so you have to search hard for it :-)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Paprikaboy

          And right behind the hard to locate foraging board we could have a forging board where we would learn all about making our own pots and pans:

          "UNDER a spreading chestnut tree
          The village smithy stands;
          The smith, a mighty man is he,
          With large and sinewy hands;
          And the muscles of his brawny arms
          Are strong as iron bands."

        2. Those are all great topics for discussion and I'd encourage you to jump in. But I don't see why it needs a specific foraging board. Much of what you've suggested has a regional component, that is, the regulations, species, festivals, etc. will differ by geography. Is there a reason they're not talking about these on your local board?

          Here are some sample threads related to foraging on the San Francisco Bay Area board for things that are available in our region:

          Fennel pollen

          Newbie fisher





          BYOFish and Game




          Game processing


          1 Reply
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            And for those discussions that aren't regionally specific, the current place for them is the General Topics board.

          2. I'm in.Looking forward to forage in northern,CA.It's become a tradition.The secret patches of matsutake mushrooms.Chanterelles,those porcinis,and the ocassional candy caps.