The Magic of Mushrooms: Truffle Fest Weekend Foray

January 28, 2019 /

David Campbell leading Foray Mushroom at Foray
Mushrooms at Foray Basket of Mushrooms at Foray

The Napa Truffle Festival’s Mushroom Foray provides a unique experience for many: an opportunity to explore the mycology of Napa County with an experienced and knowledgeable guide. For anyone who has ever hoped to forage (and potentially eat!) wild mushrooms, this is your chance to begin to understand this exciting ecosystem, while learning to understand the ways to protect yourself from a potentially unpleasant interaction with these new wild fungi.

Both Saturday and Sunday’s forays began at Las Posadas State Park guided by David Campbell, owner of Mycoventure, a mushroom specialist whose experience is Mycology – the study of fungi, including their genetic and biochemical properties, and their use to humans as a source for tinder, medicine, food and entheogens, as well as their dangers such as toxicity or infections.

On average, the mountains around Angwin experience significantly more rainfall than the regional valley floors, so expect the unexpected: mud boots and rain gear were essential and layers helped guests adapt as weather dictated! This dress code set the standard for the rest of the weekend as it was a quintessentially wet, wine country weekend!

Hikers, bikers and dog walkers frequent these trails – as do mycologists and foragers, as the hills are alive with the flowering organs of a complex tangle of symbiots and predators who live both below and above ground. Turning wood and other organic matter back into dirt while the plants and animals of the region frolic, including intrepid mushroom loving humans from all over the world.

Do you know how to diagnose a “mushrump” amidst a bed of leaves sticks and needles? Can you navigate the winter woods without getting poison oak? Have you ever considered eating chocolate covered cats’ tongue? Did you know that to the edible lexinum porcinus manzinetum the madrone and manzanita are visually the same from a mycological associate perspective? David will tell you!

In this adventurous two and half hours you will learn about and hunt these local mycological wonders amidst the beautiful Napa flora and fauna outside Angwin. You may also get to explore with some vivacious and talented truffle dogs! Pro tip: if you’re enjoying the black truffle quiche we serve, don’t tempt these expert hunters – they’re likely to get seriously inquisitive about your delicious breakfast bites!

Our forays are so wildly popular we organize two sessions over the festival weekend. We encourage all guests to snag a spot on one of the days. It’s an incredible amuse bouche for what’s to come!