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I'm making a mushroom-barley soup tomorrow that calls for 4 oz. of dried porcinis. I knew I had some so I didn't put them on my shopping list, but now I see that I have less than half the amount called for :o . Since I have other dried mushrooms on hand, I'd rather substitute than go off on a last-minute search for dried porcinis. I love mushrooms but don't know as much as I should about them.

I was thinking shiitake or oyster mushrooms were the best match. (I also have dried white and lobster mushrooms.) Suggestions? Thanks.

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I always use a mix of dried and fresh mushrooms when I make mushroom-barley soup. Four ounces of dried porcinis sounds like a lot for a pot of soup--you wouldn't taste much else, since porcinis have such a dominating flavor. I like the variety of textures, too. I say go ahead and use whatever mix of dried and fresh mushrooms that you fancy. I always like to include criminis, which I think have the best flavor and texture of the commercial fresh agaricus mushrooms. As far as fresh oyster mushrooms go, if they are expensive, don't bother. The flavor is very delicate and you won't really know that they are there, especially with a strong porcini flavor. Shiitakes are a better choice.

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I always use a mix of dried and fresh mushrooms when I make mushroom-barley soup. Four ounces of dried porcinis sounds like a lot for a pot of soup--you wouldn't taste much else, since porcinis have such a dominating flavor. I like the variety of textures, too. I say go ahead and use whatever mix of dried and fresh mushrooms that you fancy. I always like to include criminis, which I think have the best flavor and texture of the commercial fresh agaricus mushrooms. As far as fresh oyster mushrooms go, if they are expenisve, don't bother. The flavor is very delicate and you won't really know that they are there, especially with a strong porcini flavor. Shiitakes are a better choice.
I thought 4 oz. seemed like a lot when I double-checked the recipe today. It hadn't even occurred to me that I wouldn't have enough. I'll go with shiitakes to round it out. Thanks.
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Just got back from eating some amazing mushrooms in Spain and have a hankering for fresh porcinis and other wild mushrooms. Anyone know of a good source? I saw some fresh porcinis at the Dupont farmers market this weekend, but passed at $20/lb. Was that stupid of me? Any place to get good ones at a less expensive price? Thanks.

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Just got back from eating some amazing mushrooms in Spain and have a hankering for fresh porcinis and other wild mushrooms. Anyone know of a good source? I saw some fresh porcinis at the Dupont farmers market this weekend, but passed at $20/lb. Was that stupid of me? Any place to get good ones at a less expensive price? Thanks.

If they were $20 a pound, I'd say "go for it"-- I think it was more likely that there were 6 or 8 ounces of mushrooms in those $20 boxes. Unfortunately, the other local retail sources for fresh wild mushrooms are equally pricey: Balducci's, Dean and Deluca and Whole Foods.

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Just got back from eating some amazing mushrooms in Spain and have a hankering for fresh porcinis and other wild mushrooms. Anyone know of a good source? I saw some fresh porcinis at the Dupont farmers market this weekend, but passed at $20/lb. Was that stupid of me? Any place to get good ones at a less expensive price? Thanks.
Lucky you!

If you're around Penn Quarter at market time on Thursdays, the prices might be lower, especially before 5-5:30 PM, before most people leave work and head home.

Also find out when they've been picked.

I'm not a mushroom expert by any means, but I can't say I've ever had porcini in this country that compare to what I've had in Europe. I once paid dearly for porcini at Whole Foods. They came from Oregan and were completely underwhelming. Same w chanterelles or trumpet mushrooms from that supermarket, though I think Heather once reported happy results. In the case of the latter, I suspect it's a matter of freshness vs. variety in this country.

I was REALLY pleased w the honey mushrooms I brought home from Dupont Circle this past weekend, a variety that is common in Italy and found bottled w other wild mushrooms at Trader Joe's. Morels and chanterelles have been fine, too.

However, the very best mushrooms I ever picked up at Dupont are the King Oysters, known as Poor Man's porcini. They're $10 a box. I lucked out that day since they must have been picked shortly before sale. Less intense than boletus, but fragrant and meaty.

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Lucky you!

If you're around Penn Quarter at market time on Thursdays, the prices might be lower, especially before 5-5:30 PM, before most people leave work and head home.

Also find out when they've been picked.

I'm not a mushroom expert by any means, but I can't say I've ever had porcini in this country that compare to what I've had in Europe. I once paid dearly for porcini at Whole Foods. They came from Oregan and were completely underwhelming. Same w chanterelles or trumpet mushrooms from that supermarket, though I think Heather once reported happy results. In the case of the latter, I suspect it's a matter of freshness vs. variety in this country.

I was REALLY pleased w the honey mushrooms I brought home from Dupont Circle this past weekend, a variety that is common in Italy and found bottled w other wild mushrooms at Trader Joe's. Morels and chanterelles have been fine, too.

However, the very best mushrooms I ever picked up at Dupont are the King Oysters, known as Poor Man's porcini. They're $10 a box. I lucked out that day since they must have been picked shortly before sale. Less intense than boletus, but fragrant and meaty.

King Oysters are farmed, as are oyster mushrooms. The Asian grocery stores in VA (H Mart, Super H, Great Wall probably Grand Mart, too) sell fresh King Oyster, oyster and shiitake mushrooms for quite a bit cheaper. Their crimini and portobello prices are a lot cheaper than anywhere else, too. I presume that the Asian markets in Wheaton will also have them. They are good, but they aren't wild.

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Headed to Wheaton tomorrow, Sunday October 5, for the 2008 MAW (Mycological Association of Washington) Mushroom Fair.

"…forays, lectures, wild mushroom identification, raffles, cooking demonstration, book sales, arts & crafts and more."

http://mawdc.org/archives/fair2008.html

If any attending DRer(s) want to meetup, we can chit chat 'bout mushrooms.

I'm thinking about mushroom and cheese pairing recipes and I am looking to connect with foragers for a good cause.

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Headed to Wheaton tomorrow, Sunday October 5, for the 2008 MAW (Mycological Association of Washington) Mushroom Fair.

I've been to a couple of these fairs, and they can be fairly interesting for foragers. The hardcore mushroom people aren't just interested in edible mushrooms--they are into finding and identifying all of them, like birders are. For the most part, the cooking demonstrations can be summed up thusly:

"These (fill in the blank)s are great sauteed in butter..."

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I've been to a couple of these fairs, and they can be fairly interesting for foragers. The hardcore mushroom people aren't just interested in edible mushrooms--they are into finding and identifying all of them, like birders are. For the most part, the cooking demonstrations can be summed up thusly:

"These (fill in the blank)s are great sauteed in butter..."

I am not daunted. I have great mushroom potential.

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People sometimes scoff at Ken Burns, but I love his ability to take a complex subject and make a simple, entertaining presentation. The other day I was over at a friend's, and he was sautéing some mushrooms - I walked by, took a glance, and said, "Portobellos?" He replied, "Shiitakes."

As someone who prides himself as being able to walk up to a sushi bar and rapidly identify every single thing behind the glass, and as someone who has eaten both portobellos and shiitakes hundreds of times, I was miffed.

Which brings me to this simple little blog post, written three years ago, comparing portobellos, shiitakes, and criminis (which are just immature portobellos). Pretty basic stuff, but I kind of like its simplicity.

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