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Roy wanting to get his grubby hands on morels!

Roy wanting to get his grubby hands on morels!

Recalling the foodfest at the January Fungus Fair in Santa Cruz (think mushroom lasagna, candy cap mushroom cookies), Roy and I trekked over the Bay Bridge to the Oakland Museum.

The exhibits were excellent and educational … but where was the food?  We arrived at 2pm and the one (yes – uno) food station serving soup (just soup?!?!!) was cleaning up.  Finito.  No mas.  We were starving.  Later on we learned that the shroom foodies only hung out in Santa Cruz!

Consolation was learning a bit more about shrooms and discovering a Russula that smelled like shrimp – Russula xerampelina – apparently a choice edible according to the docent!  Then bought porcini mushroom broth cubes from Italy (a la Knorr, though noted it contains MSG) and a little $13 baggie of dried morels, enough for 2 meals of chicken/morel risotto!

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 Highly recommend the Fungus Fair in Santa Cruz for the great food, exhibits and lectures.
Exhibit table with various mushrooms at the Santa Cruz Fungi Fair
Exhibit table with various mushrooms at the Santa Cruz Fungi Fair

It was an awesome event where you could eat many exciting mushroom dishes that you wouldn’t normally even dream of.  Cookies make from candy cap mushrooms (Lactarius rubidus for you Latin scholars) have a sweet maple taste.

 
The lectures, particularly the one that fascinated my wife – “Poisonous and Psychotropic Mushrooms” – were very informative.  She nabbed a front row seat in this jam-packed room while I squeezed in standing-room only way in the back.  Now what could she have in mind???
 
While there we picked up some blocks kits of starter Shitake mushrooms for $13 each.  Each block should produce 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms (we’ll see about that.)  And it’s made of wood chips and rice hulls.
 
Here’s my post with Shitake pics on our Plangarden forum: http://www.plangarden.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=896#896

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