Kitchen Notes

Published on May 9th, 2018 | by Andrea Bertoli

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Learn to Forage! Tips for Mushroom Hunting & Berry Foraging

For the past decade or so, I’ve been nurturing my green thumb in gardens and on farms, but in recent years I’ve been trying my hand at foraging.

I got to do a forage trip here on Oahu, with renowned ethnobotanist and chocolate expert from Madre Chocolate, and while I was living in the Bay Area last year I got to try my hand at foraging in cooler climes, discovering the abundance of edibles that live within the city (and Golden Gate park) limits.

mushroom foraging

Fungi foraging by Annie Spratt/Unsplash

The most important rule of foraging is to only eat what you are 100% sure about: a plant you have eaten before, a berry you know for sure has no poisonous lookalikes, and mushrooms that have been correctly identified by an expert forager. Once you know that rule, foraging is about discovering and learning more about the local plant and animal life that surrounds you. I love the idea of learning more about your local environs and then enjoying the abundance the local ecosystem has to offer.

I’ve worked with the fine folks at Insteading to create two articles about foraging: in one article I’ve covered the basics of berry foraging. Berries foraging seems like a pretty good place to start since most berries are easily recognizable and common ones (like raspberry and strawberry) don’t have toxic twins, so they are relatively safe bet.

wild mulberries

I also wrote an article about hunting for mushrooms, which is a totally different story. Mushroom foraging is serious business, one that should be undertaken with a trusted field expert. Wild mushrooms can be amazingly delicious – but can also be quite toxic, so only eat those you are totally certain are edibles.

Now that all the scary stuff is out of the way, let’s dive into the joy of foraging! Click over to the articles below to learn how to get started with your own forage adventures. I hope they encourage you to explore the fields and forests to gather the treasures that surely abound in your neighborhood and community.

Tips for Berry Hunting

wild raspberries

Black raspberries turn dark purple when they’re ready to eat. D Ainslie / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Tips for Mushroom Foraging

mushroom hunting

Basket of chanterelles, from Barbroforsberg/PixaBay

 

 

 


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About the Author

A vegan chef, cookbook author, educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in Honolulu, Andrea is also the Accounts Manager for Important Media. Follow her foodie adventures at AndreaBertoli.com, Vibrant Wellness Journal, and Eat Drink Better. Find more from Andrea on Facebook and Instagram



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