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Mushrooms: The Black Market

What’s exported to Europe from here, but underappreciated at home? The Bay Area’s black trumpet mushrooms, according to Connie Green, the owner of Wine Forest Mushrooms and long-time forager of wild fungi for some of the Bay Area’s top chefs—from Todd Humphries of Martini House to Thomas Keller of the French Laundry to Hiro Sone of Ame. Green ships out her prized trumpets, which she says grow better here than anywhere else, to cities like Barcelona and Paris. “But only a few chefs [here] really know what to do with them,” she says of what she calls the “blue cheese of mushrooms” because of their full flavor. According to Green, these select chefs include Traci Des Jardins, Mark Franz and Charles Phan. Right now, Delfina is making a wild nettle soup with black trumpets and crème fraiche; the Slanted Door is combining them with asparagus; and Range is making ricotta dumplings with them.


James Sucher of Far West Fungi.

Should you want to toot your own horn (sorry, I couldn't help it), stop by Far West Fungi in the Ferry Building where someone will be happy to hook you up with as many trumpets as you want. The shop just got 25 pounds in and are hoping they last through the weekend. Guess you might want to run.