Mushroom foraging: 5 tips for picking the best crop
Autumn is the perfect season for finding chanterelle and porcini mushrooms
Most people buy mushrooms from the grocery. But every autumn, you can also forage for them in different locations across B.C.
Chanterelles, porcinis, hedgehog mushrooms, yellow foot mushrooms, and even the elusive matsutakes, can be found in Hope, Squamish and on the North Shore.
The Early Edition's Elaine Chau went on a foraging adventure with James Town from Mikuni Wild Harvest, a company that supplies wild mushrooms to Metro Vancouver restaurants. He gave her five beginner tips to get started.
1. Where to find them
Mushrooms are usually found next to trees. You want to look close to the ground when you're hunting. Dead stumps, or dying wood also tend to attract funghi to grow!
2. Find one good area and stick to it
Once you find some mushrooms, even if they're not edible, you are probably on the right track. Make sure to inspect your surroundings carefully for nearby goodies!
3. Practice Caution
If you aren't certain about what you've found, do not bring them home with you. Chanterelles, porcinis, and pine are easy to identify.
It's best to stick with what you know, rather than take a chance. In the internet age, it's easy to get acquainted with all the various types of edible mushrooms out there. Channel your inner mycological nerd and do some research before you go!
4. Get the right tool
A small mushroom knife is your best bet when it comes to harvesting mushrooms. For most kinds, you can swiftly cut them at the stem, from the bottom,. With a pine mushroom, you can just gently pull them.
5. Keep your mushrooms dry
If they've been in the rain, lay them on paper towels and let them dry.
Pine mushrooms and porcinis only need some light brushing, but if you have lobster mushrooms, you can be more aggressive with cleaning them. Just make sure they're dry before cooking them!