What is the first sign of fall on the north coast? Our first good rain and the appearance of our first wild mushrooms of the season. Food lovers from all over the west converge on the forests of Fort Bragg this time of year with good reason; the hunt for the elusive golden chanterelles or the coveted boletus edulis, also known as porcini, or according to the local “gamboni,” which means leg in Italian. The reference is to the robust and shapely stem of the mushroom that is likened to the calf of a lady’s leg. You can recognize the mushroom hunters by their downcast gaze and slow, shuffling gait through the woods. Veteran mushroom hunters guard their favorite picking locations, sometimes leading unwary observers on a merry chase….away from their prized patch!
Locals celebrate the arrival of the mushrooms in style, with the Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival, which runs from Saturday, November 8th through Sunday November 15th this year. Many of the Festival events are right here in Fort Bragg. Click HERE for a link to the Festival Brochure.