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Grant's Getaways 101 Oregon Adventures
By Grant McOmie
Westwinds Press Copyright © 2013 Grant McOmie
All right reserved.
Longtime chef and local restaurateur and all around Oregon adventurer, Leather Storrs, said it’s really pretty simple: if you want to harvest wild mushrooms, learn their habitats. In the Tillamook State Forest – where the sun and the shadows dance through the towering Doug fir trees, Storrs’ well-trained eyes were fixed down close to the ground as he searched for a culinary reward.
“Ohhh, there we are – chanty number one – it’s always good to get off the dime early,” exclaimed Storrs with a hearty laugh.
Chanterelles have a golden-orange hue and their chalice shape make them hard to spot – but their allure is a woodsy flavor that’s hard to resist. Since 1999, the gorgeous fungi have been Oregon’s official State Mushroom.
“As soon as you see the first one,” noted Storrs. “There is this chanterella-vision that allows you to see that unique sort of peachy-orange color, but with the weather change and the alder leaves turning yellow on the ground it’s getting trickier.”
Chanterelles are not the only mushrooms in the forest. Storrs, an experienced mushroom hunter said that there are dozens of other mushrooms that grow here and most are none too friendly to people and many are downright dangerous.
“When you’re doing it without knowledge and confirmation, there’s no reason to take any chances. I learned in culinary school an old saying: ‘There are old mycologists and there are bold mycologists, but there are no old, bold mycologists.’
Leather Storrs may not be an old, bold mycologist, but he is one of Portland’s finest chefs.
Excerpted from Grant's Getaways by Grant McOmie Copyright © 2013 by Grant McOmie. Excerpted by permission.
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