Fungi Far West has to be one of the more unique and exotic vendors that I have encountered in America. I'll admit I haven't tried all of the mushroom varieties showcased, mostly because I haven't been able to keep up with Fungi's frequent rotations of the new and usual. So if you have experience with any of these mushrooms, especially the uber-expensive truffles, please do share with me your tasting notes.
Organic shiitake mushroom log ($19.50). For a mushroom lover, this is the gift that keeps on giving. Ideally you have space in a cabinet above the refrigerator to store this log as the optimal environment is dark and warm. I was told that you basically wait for the log to regenerate and poofah you'll get more baby mushrooms. I wish you can say the same about money, because some of these babies can cost a pretty penny!
Yellow oyster mushroom log ($19.50). I think these taste the same as most other oyster mushrooms varieties.
Portobello mushrooms ($5/lb), meaty and versatile, great for grilling.
Chanterelles ($16/lb), which is almost half the price found here in NYC.
These are lobster mushrooms ($10/lb) that I encountered over the summer. It's so exotic looking and the color is indeed reminiscent of lobster. I spotted these for $30/lb in New York. I know it gets expensive in Manhattan, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around the huge price discrepancy.
Extra large domestic porcini ($10/lb)
Baby oyster mushroom ($5/lb)
Black trumpet ($18/lb)
Organic king trumpet ($10.50/lb)
Maitake ($15) I have a great recipe for seared maitake with truffle oil.
Lion's Head ($14/lb)
Cauliflower ($18/lb), this mushroom has one of the more interesting textures I've experienced, because it feels similar to biting into thin cartilage sheets. If you've had woodear, another exotic mushroom, the texture is very similar.
Dried porcini ($5/oz.), matsutake ($10/oz.), morels ($15/oz.),organic shiitake ($5/oz.), make for a great stocking stuffer.
I've heard stories of people finding truffles in their backyard. Look at this lumpy coal-like fungus. What would you do if you were lucky enough to encounter the same fate? With innocent ignorance, I'd probably throw it away or compost it. What a shame that would be given the rarity and expensive nature of these specimens.
Winter truffle ($99/oz.)
Himalayan truffle ($25/oz)
Oregon black truffle, ($25/oz)
Italian white truffle ($237/oz.) Nope, that is not a misprint. This white truffle from Italy truly takes the cake and probably the entire wedding party too. Do you want to know how much that comes to per pound? Let see $237 x 16 = $3792 per pound. Unbelievable isn't it? Go ahead double check my calculation. If you've had the good fortune of tasting this mighty fungus, I'd love to know!
Is that is too rich for your blood? Mine too. You may consider purchasing mushroom flavored salts ($5/jar), or better yet truffle infused oils ($9/3oz), which do a very good job of capturing the essence of these rare tubers.
I'm always on the lookout for exotic food purveyors, so please let me know if you have a suggestion for interesting food merchants that I should check out.