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but by needs they concentrate on edibles. About how many genera of fungi are offered for sale? And do the food markets include the medicinal mushrooms as well, or must you go elsewhere for those?
I’m personally a big fan of fungal diversity, and the joy of discovery in walking a wet and wild wood. Certainly the mushroom quality at a market would be better than that found at most Fairs, since nobody would eat mushrooms of poor quality (we hope). Even though some think it perfectly acceptable to display awful, rotten mushrooms for education, I don’t find mush to be particularly educational. And getting to see hundreds of the same species at a time is also invaluable, so the market wins on that count, too.
It all depends on what you are looking for, and the care that is taken with those mushrooms after they are gathered. At Breitenbush, for instance, the outdoor climate, with tables sheltered from the rain, provided a quality viewing experience for days, for hundreds of different and wonderful species: even the tiniest mycenas retained their bright colors and integrity. I would expect that some of the Oregon and Washington Fairs are also good. But indeed, one must often use their imagination when viewing aging specimens at a Fair for the first time, and attempting to learn from collections stored in rooms one hundred degrees in temperature (like I experienced at one PA NEMF), was a ridiculously short, time limited offer. Don’t know who melted first, the mushrooms or the mushroomers, but we all suffered together.
Of course, even some of those edible shrooms for sale can look a bit tired at some of the local Bay Area produce marts! I imagine that the turnover is far more rapid in China…
the mushroom markets in Yunnan are exciting and way more interesting that any fungus fair in the US
Created: 2010-08-23 15:47:18 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2011-03-28 23:59:07 CDT (-0400)
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