Tiger Mountain mushrooms. 

Image: Stefan Milne

This Saturday I stopped by the University District farmers market and no stand, it seemed, had quite the buzz of Foraged and Found Edibles, which was selling chanterelles for $8 a pound, as cheap as I’ve seen them. On Sunday, I headed up Tiger Mountain to a spot where I can reliably find a pound or so of golden chanterelles. This year, though, I netted two, easily, and then as I descended found another pound sprouting from the sides of the trail.

Shannon Adams, from the Puget Sound Mycological Society (PSMS), attributes this good year to the wet and temperate September. Though Jeremy Faber, who owns Foraged and Found, told me this year's bounty is just "slightly above average." The season generally gets going when the first rains hit and tapers off with the first hard frost. “I would say it’s an excellent year to get started. There’s so many chanterelles out there. Matsutake are being collected widely,” Adams says. She expects some rarer mushrooms: black chanterelles, blue chanterelles.

Golden chanterelles are easy to spot and to identify: solid stem, false gills, smell vaguely of apricots. But if you’ve never hunted before, your best bet is going out with someone who knows (PSMS offers field trips and ID clinics). If you want to dive all the way into the mycelial world, PSMS holds its Wild Mushroom Show on October 26 and 27. There’ll be over 200 types of mushrooms out to look at, some samples from chefs, and an ID table.

2019 PSMS Annual Wild Mushroom Show
Oct 26 & 27, North Seattle College, $10