Members’ Favorite Recipes
We are lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest where our forests fruit with beautiful and delicious wild mushrooms. They impart an earthy, sometimes meaty, flavor to food known as umami, and are high in protein, B and D vitamins, and anti-oxidants. After you learn to identify and cook wild or exotic cultivated mushrooms, you will find that each variety has its unique culinary characteristic and preparation method to bring out its best, distinctive taste.
- Lobster Mushrooms
- Mixed Wild Mushrooms
- Slippery Jacks
Never eat any fungus that you are not absolutely certain has been identified correctly. Consult a trusted field reference book, but don’t rely absolutely on pictures in books – differences between fungi can be difficult to spot. Go out with an experienced guide. When trying any fungus for the first time, only eat it in small amounts to make sure the body can cope with it. Keep a small fresh portion of it in the fridge to easily identify the source of a reaction. Be sure to read and follow our important guidelines to follow when collecting and eating wild mushrooms.
When collecting fungi, avoid using plastic bags; waxed or brown paper bags are preferred. Water condenses on the walls of plastic and makes the mushrooms mushy. Store mushrooms so that cool air circulates around them. If the specimens are very moist, line and cover a bowl with a cloth or paper towel before refrigerating.
Clean wild mushrooms as you use them. Use a toothbrush or mushroom brush to remove debris from foraged mushrooms, or wipe with a towel. Use a sharp, paring knife to cut away damaged, soiled, or tough bits. For most mushrooms, soaking is not recommended. Wash them with as little water as possible, avoiding wetting the undersides of the caps.
Recipes Wanted for Local Wild Mushroom Cookbook
The Cascade Mycological Society (CMS) is soliciting contributions for an upcoming cookbook. All proceeds from our cookbook sales will go towards supporting the CMS grant and scholarship programs. The Cookbook will be available for sale in fall 2014 and will feature over 100 one-of-a-kind recipes, plus anecdotes, tips, and photographs, featuring foraged, wild-crafted mushrooms from our geographic region.
“With this book, we hope to collect the best preparation methods for using our beautiful and delicious wild mushrooms,” explains CMS Member Heather Sielicki. “And also the priceless stories about gathering, storing, serving, decorating with, and celebrating our local fungi.”
Proceeds from cookbook sales will go towards supporting the CMS grant and scholarship programs. Contributors to the published book will have their names printed alongside their submissions and receive a special invitation to the Cookbook Release Feast.