Fab Fungi Rule the Los Alamos Mushroom Festival

Spend three days around the handsome wine country burg venturing into the world of mushroom knowledge (and deliciousness).

THE MUSHROOM-IEST TIME OF YEAR? Any portabello person or chanterelle fancier would say that such a time never ends, not while there are bowls of pasta to 'shroom-up spectacularly and pizza pies in need of a smattering of shiitakes and risottos that would rise if only a few morels found their way into the creamy mix. It's always mushroom month, for those who love the forest-flavorful, deep-wooded gifts of the earthen edible. But, let's be a little more clear and a bit more direct: Some of California's prominent mushroom festivals, while they can pop up around the calendar, have a way of bunching around the colder months, right when we want to load up on pasta, pizza, and the other dishes that become ever more delightful with the addition of mushrooms.

LOS ALAMOS... is one place that knows gourmet vittles, and, of course, wine — thank its lovely presence in the lovely Santa Ynez Valley for that — and it will honor the mushroom with a three-day festival near the end of January 2019. The dates? January 25 through 27, a Friday through a Sunday, are the dates to watch, but you'll want to decide all that you'd like to do while calling upon the historic burg. A Mushroom Feast at PICO, with Chef Drew Terp at the helm, gets the party sizzling on Jan. 25, (it's a three-course, with wine pairngs, yum), while mushroom-knowing pro Bob Cummings will call upon Bedford Winery's Tasting Room on Jan. 26 to help mush mavens grow their own fungus fandom. There's a...

WINE AND MUSHROOM TASTING, too, at the winery, with area mushrooms starring alongside mushrooms from Oregon (Black Trumpets and Candy Caps will be two featured fungi). Adding to the appetizing nature of the day? Patés and wood-fired flatbreads will complement and heighten the mushroom-y flavors. Sunday, the final day, will deliver the opportunity to forage for mushrooms at a nearby ranch. And, you bet, some local restaurants will also get into the swing, so look for mushroom-themed dishes if you're eating out/about around Los Alamos. Forage now, though, for details, times, and more about this palate-delightful, savory-deep addition to so many classic dishes.

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