Yesterday my brother and I spent the sunny, fall day hiking to Ramona falls. We passed several serious looking foragers bearing pointed sticks and oversized backpacks, alerting us to the presence of an esteemed macrofungus. Among the plethora of mushrooms fruiting along the trail, I was eventually able to find several large and new Tricholoma Magnivelare. The distinctive piney odor of the species seemed to me much fainter than the descriptions I read indicated. The slightness of the scent, the white, domed cap and white gills would have made me more sceptical, but I’d recently gathered and identified it’s dangerous look-alike: Aminita Smithiana in the hills near the north fork reservoir of the Clackamas on the 18th.
The texture of the mushrooms improved and lent a subtle taste to the broth. I used canned stock, a splash of white wine and a hunk of pork fat, I imagine it would be much better with homemade beef or chicken stock. The matsutake flavor and aroma is becoming more and more robust with my repeated exposures to it. I had not tasted or smelled matsutakes until I collected these on Wednesday. Maybe my brain had to make the necessary connections to fully experience this mushroom.