In years past, the second night of The Mushroom Festival tended to be a little on the slow side, sandwiched as it is between the exuberance of The First Night and the Closing Ceremonies. Not this year!
In fact, the merriment went on until dawn!
It started slow, I’ll admit , with a pedantic lecture by Harold McFee, CEO of The Mycology Institute, in which he addressed the slur towards mushrooms implicit in descriptions of the A-bomb as being, “a mushroom cloud.” Harold, you went on too long! And, please, stop reading from your notes!
I will say that the information Dr. McFee provided was tops, as usual, and, certainly, you can never hear enough about the misuse of mushroom terms in the media.
Things picked up with the gala dinner.
We started with blue fin toro in checkerboard sized squares topped with a spritz of lemon juice, salt, and Bulldog sauce alongside grated ginger and wasabi.
Then it was Niigata rice risotto with tender pieces of roasted sugar pumpkin and matsutake.
The risotto was served at the same time as miso broth topped with carrots, kale, and chanterelle.
Was it all crazy-delicious? Well, does a mushroom grow in the woods?