Sam and I went to the Mycological Society of San Francisco Fungus Fair a few weekends ago, and it was nothing short of AWESOME! There’s nothing like learning about the largest branch in the Tree of Life with kindred souls!
There were two main rooms: upon arrival, you’re guided through the entryway by scents of tasty mushroom soup 🍲 and this savory serving foyer opened up to a huge room filled with mushroom fanatics performing fungi arts and crafts (there are so many ways to use mushrooms): A chef demonstrating his mushroom recipe, people dipping white scarves into rainbows of fungi dyes, excited children building multitudes of mushroom houses—then we came to the next room. The next room. Ugh. So much mushroomin’ it wasn’t allowed.
There was so much information and so many specimens there that filled gaps of my fungi knowledge and will be super-useful in my fungi-related posts (definitely planning one re: California Chanterelles now). Accessing so much reliable information about fungi was invaluable, so I’ll be locating and attending fungi fairs as often as I can manage now.
I also got these while at the fungus fair:
Ever heard of candy cap mushrooms? Their binomial name is Lactarius rubidus, and I made candied yams with them! I subbed the candy caps in place of vanilla, and the yams came out with distinctive maple flavor. Contrary to what one might assume, the yams DID NOT taste like mushrooms. They tasted like candied yams with maple syrup…seasoning, if that makes sense…delicious! These are even good used in a roast duck or chicken recipe; they add maple flavor and distinguish your glazes, yum 😋 And I only need to use one or two mushrooms per serving of any given dish. A little goes a long way!
What fungus fairs (or any sort of nature-themed fair) have you attended? Let me know in the comment section below 🙂
I can’t recommend attending the MSSF Fungus Fair enough, and you should definitely check it out if you live by San Francisco. I can’t wait for next year’s fair!