Magical Mushrooms

Well, apparently yesterday was national mushroom day. Who knew? For the grand finale of the week, I’d like to talk about mushrooms. I have a back story, a little current history and some interesting things coming up to share with you.

I spent much of the last year doing a coast to coast investigation of the current food culture in Canada. The last three months of the trip I spent in Newfoundland. First time there, and it won’t be my last. It was a working holiday, so I didn’t get a chance to see a lot.

morels

This is what I found in my back yard on the first day in Newfoundland. A fairly rare type of mushroom, morels. We picked about 250 grams, typical these would cost about $35. Free, thank you very much! Same with the first image (chanterelles), however much later in the season. The chanterelles grow quite abundantly in the West side of the island during the months of late July and early August. A beautiful and also pricey treat. We had a bumper crop this year, having collected 5 kg on the first day! So that’s the back story.

Etymology, Identification,etc.

Ive actually already written an article about this… have a search in the archives. I won’t bore you to much here, let’s just gloss over it. The term mushroom may have been derived from mousseron in reference mousse. Basically the delineation is edible, unpalatable and poisonous. We are sticking with edible, of which there are many varieties. Be warned though, some poisonous types have a striking similarly to edible ones. Be informed before heading out foraging for these babies! If you can not positively identify the type, leave it. In the paid members area, I have an identification chart that helps significantly.

Hot off the Press.

As some of you know, I offer a private chef service. I recently booked an interesting group for a culinary workshop and dinner. It seems this organization (name withheld for legal reasons), do research on a special kind of mushroom. These are called Psilocybin mushrooms, magic mushrooms. Edible, yes, unpalatable, some would agree. Never the less, there is a rising interest in the potential medical benefits of there consumption. For fun they have asked for a mushroom focused menu. Unfortunately the time of year and location won’t provide for much foraging. It will have to be dried and farmed mushrooms. FUN!

Anyway folks, that’s the story for today. Have a great weekend and I will see you back on Monday, cheers!!