I totally forgot to mention the great find I had last weekend. I mentioned that I have been attending some local markets, well I happened to be at the Huonville Market and while there I wondered past the Huon Valley Producers Network Stall. They had their usual supply of great looking produce, but what really caught my eye was their mushrooms. They had a great supply of two different types of wild mushrooms. A golden one in small clumps, and a Grey trumpet looking one. They looked great, yet as I grew up in Canberra (where several people die every year from eating poisonous wild mushrooms), I am very cautious about eating anything out of the ordinary in the mushroom world. I stood by to ask about them, and I waited behind a young family who also appeared interested in the fungi. I waited patiently for my turn to order and I listened into the conversation they had with the stall attendant. They asked about the mushrooms and they were told that they were picked from the wild by a member of the Huon Producers Network. This sounded very interesting to me, as I have rarely departed from the Button/Portobello/Shitake mushroom zone. They asked what type of Mushrooms they were, and were told that the stall attendant did not know what they were called, nor anything about them. This seemed to satisfy the young family, who bought a quantity for their consumption…. I on the other hand, quickly turned around and left the stall, mentally wishing the family best of luck with that.
As I said, I am very wary of unknown mushrooms. I don’t like to mess with them. So when I attended another market and wandered past the Huon Producers Stall again, I noted that they still had the mushrooms for sale… obviously a fresh batch, yet still the same varieties. I could see that different people were manning the stall, so I walked up and asked if they could tell me about the mushrooms. The man at the stall started to tell me about them, about the man who collected them and his pedigree of wild mushroom gathering, about their common name and scientific name, as well as their flavor. This was what I wanted to hear… someone who knew about the product and could alleviate my concerns. I bought around 100gms of each type, in order to taste them and decide if they were worth the cost. He actually was pretty annoyed with my small purchase, which ended up costing less than $3. Maybe he expected me to buy all of it or something. Anyway, I also bought a loaf of their bread, as it looked great. Once home, I tried the bread by itself, then toasted some and ate it. It was very nice, yet I think the ones I make taste better (possibly due to all the work it takes to make it – I am sure most people who make their own bread think theirs tastes the best).
The mushrooms still had some mycelium on their base, so I threw some into a jar of coffee grounds, to see how that works out.