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Fascinating Fungus

 
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:56 pm    Post subject: Fascinating Fungus Reply with quote

Remember this remarkable entry http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2005/03/salade_de_pleurotes_pomme_et_bergamote.php? I'm a big fan of mushrooms and I thought I'd never see anything as unique and intriguing. It's a cruel thing to have to look and not be able to smell or taste! Shocked

Well, yesterday I went to the farmers market for the first time in a l-o-n-g time and I found something remarkable similar! I could kick myself for not remembering the name (myco-something or other). I should have written it down! It's not the wonderfully symmetrical and pinecone-ish thing that clotilde found. It's a little more ragged and fragile looking but the smell is fantastic! It's from NoCal and grows, they tell me, on trees. The pruveyors had a good number of them (and I was so surprised that this phenomenon could actually happen TWICE!) PLUS the most remarkable thing called Blue Foot mushrooms that actually have stems of a pale electric blue! A treat for next week!

I wish I knew how to photo and share these images! They were so surprising and visually seductive. And the guys who were selling them were so cute. They were late teen/early 20ish with the most Celtic, scrubbed and wholesome look. Their enthusiasm for each of their unique products was equally endearing.

We were going to have this remarkable fungus for dinner last night but everyone took off for parts unknown so I have to wait until this evening to actually try it. Can't wait!

I also found something called Sea Beans. The vendors told me they're a variety of seaweed but they're unlike any sea weed I'd ever seen. They look almost like miniscule, anorexic asparagas. They have a flavor that convinces you though. They taste almost precisely like sea water with a saltiness that lingers on the tongue. This for me, the girl who can NEVER get enough salt (who cares what those health professionals have to say; if my body wants it this much there's a reason for it!) is a BIG plus. They also have a pleasant crispness. I'm going to try them on salad but I think I'll hold onto a bit for sautéeing as well.

And to think all this happened because my husband didn't like the raisins in his oatmeal yesterday morning! Sweet are the uses of adversity, which, like a toad, though ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in its head.
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seastar



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad that you were able to find some gorgeous mushrooms at your local market Rainey! Makes me realize how lucky we are in the Pacific Northwest (technically, the Pacific Northeast) to have so many types of wild mushrooms and cultured mushrooms at our quick disposal! We do have oyster mushrooms here and there is a good chance that they may grow down into Northern California as well. The ones featured in Clotilde's recipe look very pristine....the ones I buy are a little more beaten up.

In regards to the "Sea Beans", that is a new name to me....but from your description, we have a very similar marine plant here in BC. Its common name is Sea Asparagus, Glasswort and Sea Bean; its latin name is Salicornia virginica. I have had the absolute pleasure of travelling up and down the BC coast in which this plant is found in intertidal/beach areas. We would harvest it, steam it and serve it with fresh caught salmon. Pure west coast bliss!

Here's a link to some recipes for sea asparagus:
http://www.westcoastseaweed.com/seabean/recipes.htm

So excited to see it featured here! Enjoy!
_________________
In the whorehouses of the bakeries, I was serially, gluttonously, irredeemably unfaithful to all those chapatis-next-door waiting for me back home. East was East, but yeast was West.

On Leavened Bread - Salman Rushdie
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seastar



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:00 am    Post subject: Sea Beans / Sea Asparagus Photo Reply with quote

I found a great photo of sea asparagus ... for those who are wondering what this freaky thing looks like ... heehee.

Let's see if I can get this to work ...

[img]http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/plants/sdpls/plants/jpgs/Salicornia_virginica3.jpg
[/img]

[/img]
_________________
In the whorehouses of the bakeries, I was serially, gluttonously, irredeemably unfaithful to all those chapatis-next-door waiting for me back home. East was East, but yeast was West.

On Leavened Bread - Salman Rushdie
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seastar wrote:
Here's a link to some recipes for sea asparagus:
http://www.westcoastseaweed.com/seabean/recipes.htm

So excited to see it featured here! Enjoy!


Yes! That's exactly it at the photo on the top of the page! Very Happy

I never encountered it in Vancouver. And perhaps I would have been able to gather it myself... Another thing I'll miss along with free blackberries. Crying or Very sad And are you saying that I might have found these tree fungus as well? I never saw them even in the Granville Island Public Market or Capers.

I have some salmon in my freezer. I'll pull some out and try the sauté along with some of it.

Thanks so much for the tips!
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:04 am    Post subject: Re: Fascinating Fungus Reply with quote

Rainey,

Good for you to find those wonderful mushrooms! Our farmer's market have two kinds of pleurottes (oyster mushrooms) one tan and another darker - almost charcoal grey that has a really nice aroma, chewier and with strong pleasant flavor. I used them for a gorgeous fritata for Easter Brunch. They are a little more rugged (not so beautifully pine-cone shaped as Clothilde's).

I hope your Blue Foot mushrooms are a little more reasonable in price than the ones I saw at $30.00 a pound. I had to pass it up. Ahhhh, maybe someday, I'll have the courage to splurge..........

Seastar - You are lucky to be in the Pacific Northwest. A friend was in your area and brought me back some beautiful chanterrelles. What a lovely treat that was!

Reading about all these lovely food is making me hungry - I want to go home an cook (I'm at work taking a break).

As Jacques Pepin would say, "Happy Cooking!"
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"A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry."
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