Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Most Elusive Mushroom in Oregon

Craterellus cornucopioides

Man these are the doggone hardest mushrooms to find in this state. I've searched high and low and with absolutely NO success. I've had some pointers from people who are pickers who have found them around here in the past but with or without pointers I've had the same amount of success...NONE! So I had a proposition I just could not refuse. A commercial picker friend of a friend from my area contacted me and told me he had a spot he would essentially "give" me as it had no commercial value to him in terms of amounts of mushrooms to harvest, but if I was only looking to find some for my own enjoyment and use he would take me right to them and show me what habitat to look for.

It was a great learning experience since I'm still having trouble with some of my Oregon trees and he showed me some tricks to learn some of my different firs and one tree I'd heard of but never seen (that I knew of) a golden chinkapin, which seems to be key to finding black trumpets. We were in white fir, madrone and the occasional chinkapin and they were always near the chinkapin.

Anyway, we hiked like a couple of llamas (or pack mules..take your pick) up and down ridges and into bowl like areas and finally we got to his spot (which in a million years I would NOT have found) unless I had a very good GPS unit and even then... and there they were. Just as I remembered them in CA...almost invisible with their background but growing like black petunias. It was a tough hike but well worth it with the bounty we picked. At the same time we found some yellowfoot chants and a scant few belly button hedgehogs. Yippeee...
I'm so excited to have fresh black trumpets. This winter I've been consumed by and preoccupied with black fungi. I've had black truffles on the brain for months as well as black trumpets so now it's time to celebrate. I feel a pizza coming in my near future. My two favorite mushrooms to put on pizza, yellowfoot and black trumpets. See my pizza blog right here. I think a risotto is in order real soon also! Hmm hedgehog and black trumpet risotto with truffles. I'm so spoiled!


Langdon Cook said...

Love those trumpets. I used to find small patches in the Rogue River Canyon. The golden chinkapin connection is interesting. I remember looking for manzanita, but chinkapin was in the area too. I like sauteeing trumpets by themselves as a side dish. Mmmmnnnn. Lucky you!

drfugawe said...

Golden Chinkapin? Thought that was a Javanese monkey.

I've got'a get out more.