Monday, November 26, 2012

Fall mushroom roundup: Matsutake

Didn't find many of these again this year, but connected with a a group of pickers who was able to find a large patch somewhere in the 4th of July Pass area. They said that this area was extremely wet. It sounded like a drainage ditch where a number of natural waterways converged. Here are some pictures of those mushrooms.

These are HUGE matsutakes. Ironically, the larger these mushrooms get, the less valuable they become. The ideal matsutake mushroom (grade 1) is in the button stage without an exposed veil. Matsutake are VERY flavorful and potent in much the same way that truffles are. However, the matsutake begins to lose its flavor the larger they grow.
Medium-sized matsutakes. The flavor and aroma of these mushrooms is truly unique: a wild spice that is all its own.

Underside of the matsutake. They can be very wormy. Make sure to harvest only prime, firm specimens like these.

In the right market, matsutake mushrooms are even MORE valuable than morels. East Asian immigrants harvest these mushrooms in the woods of the Pacific NW and sell them to buyers in Korea, Japan, and other countries for as much as $100/lb!!! So good luck, happy hunting, and LET ME KNOW if you find any of these spicefully-scented beauties!!!

1 comment:

  1. Best place I found to buy top #1 Grade Matsutakes are from


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