Mendo Mushrooms: Join a Foraging Trek

The fungi-focused multi-day festival also celebrates wine and brews.

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Mushroom, Wine, and Beer Fest

A STROLL IN THE FOREST... is always a multi-part gift, from the peaceful visuals of fluttering leaves to the earthy scents that greet the nose to the quiet unplug-a-tude found within. But there is another gift that woods can yield, if you know where to look (down) and who to look with (an expert mycologist). The "down" part was likely a giveaway, as this treat does spring from the forest floor (or, rather, beneath it), and that mycology is the study of mushrooms tells the rest of the story. We speak of the mushroom, a cap-wearing gem that can fill the most humble of dishes with a little straight-from-nature panache.

MENDOCINO COUNTY... knows this fungi-fabulous panache well, as mushrooms grow well in its moist-of-ground environs (the picturesque are "is home to over 3,000 types of mushrooms," in fact). And November happens to be a prime time for mushroom mania around the county, a fact that inspired the Mushroom, Wine, and Beer Festival, an eat-drink-walk-talk to-do that takes up a goodly chunk of the eleventh month on the calendar. That "goodly chunk" in 2016'll last from...

NOV. 4 THROUGH 13, and deciding what exactly you want to participate in — eating, eating and sipping, sipping and foraging — will dictate how you plan your coast-close getaway. A mushroom forage at Frey Winery (yep, there's a vino tasting, too), an Afternoon Tea at Glendeven Inn (the sandwiches are lush with mushroomry), and mushroom-themed art happenings are among the many highlights. Surely you cook with plenty of portobellos and oysters and cremini; but have you ever gone to the verdant, thick-of-pine-needles, below-the-trees source alongside a mushroom-knowledgeable pro? Here's your moment, mushroom mavens, to get the 411 on your produce drawer staple.

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