Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Hunt is On

A couple weeks ago I took part in my first mushroom hunt of the season. A quick drive from the city and we were somewhere in the Marin Headlands. It's not a typical spot of mushroom hunting, but it's close. The outing was as much an excuse to enjoy the landscapes as anything else. We thought we might find a few (top secret mushrooms) but we struck out. No matter, it was a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful day. We took a hike to Kirby cove and got to see a less familiar angle of the oft jumped from Golden Gate Bridge.
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On the way back we came upon a curiosity upon a hillside. Mr. O decided to check it out.
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He returned with a few gorgeous looking yet unknown boletes. O knows his mushrooms but these were a curiosity even to him.
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In the nearby gulch on the side of the trail we found some watercress, which we all chewed on while looking at the strange mushrooms.
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Foraged food is all the rage right now. It seems to be the logical progression of the currently over hyped and increasingly boring local, organic food fetish. San Francisco's ever enlightened diners have latched onto wild food like emaciated leeches at an anorexic's birthday party. There's not enough to go around, but for the right price those with money can get a piece while it's still available. A foraged food box has even become available in the city which has some environmentalists and established foragers rather concerned. Our small party spent a few hours tromping around having a wonderful time, and while I was chewing on this water cress I realized what money and an explosion of interest could do to our wild spaces. The watercress was nothing more than a nibble, so I got to wondering what the price is of trying to bring this back to the city to feed San Francisco's increasingly particular diners.
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Along the side of the trail as we neared the end of our hike I spied a few very young mushrooms with beautiful scales.
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They turned out to be an edible variety which are in fact the type of mushrooms commonly eaten in France. After dinner that night we dry sauteed the handful that we found and found them to be highly enjoyable. More to come.

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