Interested in mushroom foraging? We asked fungi expert Kevin Sadlier where you can find some species in Marin as well as the best times to go out. Just remember: many mushrooms are poisonous. Before consuming anything you find, consult an expert or bring your haul to the Mill Valley Public Library on the third Wednesday of the month when the Mycological Society of Marin meets. Once they’re deemed safe, here is what you might do with your finds.
Porcini Boletus edulis
Season: October through late November
Grows Near: Bishop pine
Culinary Uses: Cook the stems slowly, in soups or braises, but sauté the caps in duck fat or butter. Great in pasta, risotto and gravies.
Matsutake Tricholoma matsutake
Season: Mid-November to early January
Grows Near: Tan oak
Culinary Uses: Cook in simple preparations such as soups, chowders or rice, or marinate it in soy sauce and grill to showcase the unusual flavor and aroma.
Chanterelle Cantharellus cibarius
Season: Almost year-round with enough precipitation
Grows Near: Fir, tan oak
Culinary Uses: Complements pork, chicken, rabbit, veal and quail, either in a stuffing or with a sauce.
Candy cap Lactarius camphoratus
Season: December to late January
Grows Near: Tan oak, pine (often near chanterelles)
Culinary Uses: Include in savory dishes that feature pork, squash, sweet potatoes or risotto or in curries.
Black trumpet Craterellus cornucopioides
Season: January to early March
Grows Near: Oak, mossy areas
Culinary Uses: Great with fish, in egg dishes or in soups.
Hedgehog Hydnum repandum
Season: March to early April
Grows Near: Bishop pine
Culinary Uses: Hedgehog mushrooms are excellent with meat, fish, poultry and game bird entrees. They also work in sauces, soups and sautés.
Morel Morchella esculenta
Season: April and May
Grows Near: Mulch piles and recently burned areas
Culinary Uses: Complemented by butter and cream. Great with chicken, veal or pork. Foraging Season
Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.