It’s great to live in California…especially if you know someone who knows where to find porcini mushrooms. I met Tammy and Stefano, owners of Osteria Monte Grappa in Ojai while working.
One of the joys of working on a television show about food (besides the obvious, food) is the chance to meet like minded, passionate food people, and more importantly, discover their unique slice of the food universe. In this case, porcini mushrooms.
To find these prized fungi we had to drive way, way up the coast, past San Lois Obispo, still north of Morro Bay…
and even a little further north beyond the “blink and you miss it” outpost of Harmony.
Following their car up and around a winding road, we parked near a wooded area and took off into the Spanish moss draped forest.
A few things one should know about mushroom foraging…
You do a lot of looking down.
Some people are naturals, others like myself, not the best.
Foragers never, never, never disclose the location of their crops.
Stefano has been going to this particular location with his father since he was a kid. Since his father passed five years ago, his trips to the forest are homage to his dad.
A lingering sunset provided the perfect ending to an incredible walk in the woods.
Next week…how to cook with porcini mushrooms.