A good year for the mushrooms
Wendy Liberatore reports in the Times Union that so far this summer has been great for mushroom hunters. “It’s been a fantastic year,” said Brian Bowden, the executive chef at Radici Kitchen & Bar in Glens Falls. “With the early heat and all this rain, it’s just been flourishing out in the woods. My wife and I went out a couple of weeks ago to a new spot and within 30 minutes we had harvested seven pounds of chanterelle mushrooms. And we left a lot.” Chef Rob Handel, the executive chef at Heather Ridge Farm in Preston Hollow, in southern Albany County, took 30 pounds of chanterelles from a northern Catskill forest recently. “They have a delicate flavor,” Handel said. “You don’t want something that will compete with the flavor.” While there are many mushrooms on the ground, experienced hunters warn one needs to know what they are doing before eating anything off the forest floor. There are many poisonous mushrooms out there too. And changing weather conditions could dry up this year's crop. “They are ephemeral and only out for a certain time in the year,” Handel said. “And that availability is totally dependent on factors beyond our control. ... This year, everybody is gorging themselves on chanterelles. Next year, there might not be very many chanterelles and all you can do is wait until the next good year.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.