Mushroom Hunting in Oregon

My sister took my daughter and I hunting mushrooms in the mountains outside of Portland. November is chanterelle season, and she’s a pro.

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It was the Forest Primeval. Damp and incredibly green. The trees were huge, dripping with moss, and the undergrowth was about knee-high. We were soaked to the knees within minutes and deeply thankful for the loaned boots! It took a while tromping around until we saw the first one.

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After that, we started finding more. When we decided to head back to the car, we saw clumps of them every few steps. I was shocked at the size- chanterelles grow here in Florida too, but they’re tiny sandy orange things. These chanterelles were giants.

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All in all, we found more than five pounds of chanterelles, roughly $75 worth of mushrooms in two hours of tromping around.  I laid them out on towels to dry for a day, and then took the brush to them. Chanterelles are worth the huge amounts of money charged for them in the markets- gathering them is fun, but cleaning them is tedious and time-consuming work. Doing it for yourself is worth every minute.

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I sauteed them in plenty of butter and fresh thyme and served them with caramelized onions on good bread. They were the best mushrooms I have ever eaten! I wish Florida had mushrooming like this. Foraging makes me feel deeply connected to the land I’m on, I’m glad I had a chance to do this in Oregon.

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