FUNGI FAR WEST


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)

Abalone ($12/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)
 

Hawking ($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.
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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.

63 comments:

Tricia said...

Those mushrooms look amazing! My first experience like that wasn't until I moved out here to Portland--mushrooms abound out here too! Hope you had a nice time in SF, if you ever wanted to take an extended vacation, you would be more than welcome to come visit for a food tour!

The Blonde Duck said...

That looks so neat!

Velva said...

I think I died and went to mushroom heaven!

El said...

That's an incredible selection of mushrooms. The food court looks lovely too...especially Miette.

3 hungry tummies said...

Amazing varieties there!! I must say yes when I'm invited to mushrooms picking next!

Nanny'76 said...

Hello Cristine, I enjoy reading your blog, just real information, thanks for this ..
I did not know of the existence of the mushroom lobster, curious ...
there are so many qualities that tuttu know maybe it's almost impossible ... beautiful the place where you go ..

Selba said...

Can't believe there are so many kind of mushrooms! Very interesting to see all the colors and also the shapes :)

HippieMom said...

Wow! Amazing! great infos! I love potobello & have no experience with truffles!!

XoXo

HippieMom said...

Wow! Amazing! great infos! I love potobello & have no experience with truffles!!

XoXo

Pierce said...

THAT...was a trip through a heavenly aeeay of organic goodies. Wow, I have never seen so many varieties of mushrooms. I'm jealous.

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

What a fun store! Thanks for sharing! I love the different logs; they would make awesome gifts for mushroom lovers (with enough space in their kitchen).

Natashya Kitchen Puppies said...

What a fabulous find!
Great prices too. I have never seen so many different kinds of shrooms. Still haven't tried a truffle, but I do have truffle salt.

Simply Life said...

oh wow! what a fun adventure!!! great photos of everything!

Roseiro.Pedro said...

That market is absolutely amazing. I wish i could find those extra large porcinis.
Thanks for commenting on my blog, hope you liked my posts.

George Gaston said...

I love to cook with wild mushrooms. Each have their own taste and personality. Your photographs takes us to this great place and lets us explore along with you. Many thanks...

Beth said...

Those mushrooms look amazing! I'm also amazed that they are growing them on actual logs (not sawdust) because it's expensive to use logs!

girlichef said...

Wow! I was totally drooling over all of the gorgeous mushrooms...but then the truffles hit me and I'm all ga-ga over here!! Beautiful...how I wish I could afford one of each :/

Fresh Local and Best said...

Tricia - I will take you up on your offer

Beth - Thanks for the info, will update accordingly.

♥peachkins♥ said...

those are the most beautiful mushrooms I've ever seen! Some of them I've seen only now!

5 Star Foodie said...

Wow, look at all these gorgeous mushrooms and truffles, awesome store!

kat said...

Don't you just love the ferry building? It's a food lovers paradise.

Joycee said...

This was a fascinating post! How lucky to be close to great shopping. Thanks for your sweet comments at GrannyMountain.
joy c.

A Year on the Grill said...

what an incredible slice of life post...

I am in mushroom envy heaven reading this

thanks for all those PERFECT pictures and the note taking you must have done

Pam said...

I could stay there all day! Truffles sure don't look pretty but they taste AMAZING.

KennyT said...

I'd be dancing strip tease if I'd find something like this in HK, I've been looking for fresh porcini to make my porcini sott'olio! And I have to use the dried ones all the time! How sad!

Yasmeen said...

Those sure are exotic and pricey mushrooms:D

The Blonde Duck said...

The ball is exciting! :)

VeggieGirl said...

INCREDIBLE!!

Angie's Recipes said...

That's a marvellous store! All these mushrooms!!

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

I haven't seen so many mushrooms in one place. The truffles are gorgeous and their prices too :)

Cheers,

Gera

Katherine Aucoin said...

This is the most extensive display of shrooms I've ever seen. You did a fabulous job on this post!

Unplanned Cooking said...

Neat excursion. I've never heard of most of those mushrooms! Probably couldn't afford them, either :).

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wow, that is such a cool place, its so specialist
. The lions head mushroom is awesome, never seen that one before.

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow mushroom heaven right there, doggly bloggy will love this!

doggybloggy said...

how nice of you to bring me back some truffles - when can I pick them up....wow what a great assortment!

Joanne said...

That is a LOT of mushrooms. I've only ever eaten one or two of those types! I obviously need to expand my horizons. I love exotic merchants as well. And am always on the lookout for more!

Bridgett said...

This looks absolutely amazing. I would have to sell a kidney to be able to afford a black truffle or two but it just might be worth it!

Judy said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks so much for sharing, but now I feel more deprived than ever.

Julia said...

What a cool post! I miss finding incredible stores like this one, even if I wouldn't be able to buy too much!

John D. said...

Wow! That place is incredible. I love mushrooms in all shapes and forms. Would love ti go truffle hunting in Italy one of these years. Mushroom barley soup was a very important dish on our Christmas Eve table. I should make some for Mom this year.

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

Holy mushrooms! What a great place! It's hard to believe something so gross looking can taste so good!

Diana Bauman said...

This was such a fun post for me! I can't believe the price of those truffles and now I completely understand why I've never had one, lol! What beautiful fungi :)

Esme said...

I was amazed the first time I visited this store. Have you ever had truffle macarons. Pierre Hermes had white and black truffle macarons.

Mimi said...

Mushroom heaven. It would be fantastic to have a mushroom tasting.
Mimi

Sook said...

Wow look at all those mushrooms! Fascinating! My in-laws are quite obsessed with mushrooms... whenever they go to 99 ranch market in SF, they buy five different kinds of mushrooms and give us some. :)

NĂºria said...

Wow!!!!! I'm sooooo impressed! What a great post! I love mushrooms and I thought I knew all about them.... but after this master class, I'm a complete ignorant ;D.

Never seen the lion one... amazing! I knew about the white truffle... crazy! Thank you :D

TKW said...

That's the coolest store I've ever seen!

The Blonde Duck said...

The Pond creatures have a ridiculously high sugar tolerance.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Wow - you really went all out in that store! LOVE this post - I could live on mushrooms. Oh and maybe a little cheese and chocolate.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a great place! I LOVe mushrooms of all kinds...

Cheers,

Rosa

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Wow, a designer mushroom market. I've never seen anything like it. What a super cool store.
Sam

Stacy said...

Wow, what an amazing post! And those pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

nancy at goodfoodmatters said...

What a fantastic place--(with great prices on the mushrooms)
I especially enjoyed seeing all the truffles--I didn't know about the Oregon Black or Himalayan varieties. Those rare Italian whites--what prizes they must be---I have yet to experience them!

theUngourmet said...

My mom and her husband go mushrooming sometimes. They have given me lobster mushrooms a few times. I love them.

I would love to try all of these! Yum! What an awesome place!

Belinda @zomppa said...

I love that photo - one of my favorite places to visit. Mushrooms...yum. My dear friend just did this fabulous wild mushroom custard in a water bath and your mushrooms are crying out to be eaten!

Zen Chef said...

Oh yes, i've got plenty of experience with black and white truffles. Love, love, love Alba white truffles finely shaved over a risotto. The best aroma in the world. Are you bringing some back? :)

shannon said...

oh man. wish i was there!

Kelsey B. said...

I LOVE the ferry building!

www.dhaleb.com said...

I wonder if they sold cep there? It's a very unique French mushroom that has a really wonderful flavor, almost like shitake.

I love wandering around exotic food shops and admiring all the wonderful products. I would've spent hours here!

Chef E said...

Great post! I will have to make it a point to visit this place one day, sounds like I would never leave!

Carolyn Jung said...

All I find are weeds in my backyard! Why can't I be lucky enough to find a lovely, oh-so-coveted black truffle? It'd be better than winning the Lotto. OK, well, almost better... ;)

Nanny'76 said...

hello, Cristine Merry Christmas ^ _ ^ and good 2010 ...
I hope the new year bring you everything you want ....

Michelle said...

Gorgeous photo! I could almost pick one right up!!