Most folks purchase their mushrooms from the grocery store and you can get some good mushrooms there. But to really get something more amazingly tasty you really need to get out in the fields and woods and forage for some mushrooms. There is nothing like an earthy, fruity mushroom you pull from the forest floor. Not to mention the quiet, reflective time roaming around all the beauty the forest and fields offer. And another plus……It is a very frugal, money saving thing to forage for your food. When you find those favorite spots you will probably find enough mushrooms to preserve for later use. I like to freeze them and dehydrate them. Next season, I want to try canning them. So, this is on my list to learn and do.
In the Spring I love to look for the elusive Morel Mushroom. I say elusive because they can be hard to spot, but they are worth the time and effort! Some of the other mushrooms I look for are Chicken of the Woods, Turkey Tail, Lions Mane and of course the Oysters. But the one I especially enjoy is the Chanterelles. They are so prolific and easy to locate and identify. Besides being so delicious!! They usually start coming up in the summer after several rains. One of the great things about Chanterelles is they usually come up in the same areas I have found them in the past, reappearing year after year. It’s not unusual to find up to 20-30 pounds in a season and if the weather is right for them you can find even more.
Some folks are afraid they won’t be able to properly identify the good mushrooms and could end up eating a toxic mushroom. And I get it…… but this is something you can learn to do. I always was afraid in the past to eat a mushroom that was foraged, but once I started really looking more closely at mushrooms along with a good book that helps identify mushrooms, I started feeling a little more confident. But what has really helped me is joining some groups on social media (FB) especially groups in my state. They are so helpful! But one thing you want to look for in a group is that the group has Admins who are experts. They will definitely steer you in the right direction when identifying mushrooms. Good admins also organize groups to go foraging together on land that someone has given permission to forage on. These outings are especially helpful. You can learn a lot when you go out with folks who are not only experts but folks like you who are learning to forage safely.
Hopefully you will get out there and start foraging for those wonderful, earthy and delicious mushrooms! Send me a picture of your haul and what your favorite wild mushroom is!!