Porcinis and chanterelles and morels, oh my!
Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival returns this weekend.
Mushroom hunting season is upon us and with it comes the Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival August 2 through 4. The typical monsoon rain showers this time of year bring out the fungi and the Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival wants to give you some tips on how you can locate, identify and cook up these delicious morsels.
This three-day festival brings in experts from all over who will discuss everything from the basics of mushroom hunting and the role of mushrooms in the environment to the beneficial properties of mushrooms and how to cook and preserve them.
The Vail Valley is a perfect place to look for mushrooms because of its elevation and proper growing conditions. “Gourmet mushrooms are usually found in higher elevations, above 9,500 feet or higher near conifer trees, firs and spruces mostly. The mushrooms grow best during the summer monsoon rain patterns in the afternoon,” said Trent Blizzard, of Modern Forager and one of the featured speakers at the event. He also mentioned that porcinis, chanterelles and morels are the three varieties that they typically look for in this area.
If you know any mushroom hunters, you know that they can be secretive when it comes to where they find their bounty, but at the Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival, they will lead you to a number of places so you can get a taste of what mushroom foraging is all about. “We’ll have maps leading folks right to parking spots for 12 different locations. All are 30 to 60 minutes away and each location will also have a leader to make sure people find each place and get off the mountain when they are done,” Blizzard said.
After you learn where to find them, it’s time to try them at the sauté bar from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. “It is an eating experience. We are serving probably 30 to 40 pounds of mushrooms and will have at least five or six different species,” Blizzard said.
Bring the kids, as there are special kids talks and activities at the Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival as well. For more information, visit http://www.eaglemushroomfest.com.