Texas Living

How to Find and Cook Texas Mushrooms

By Peter Simek 11.4.19

Some people fish; others grow garden tomatoes. But for mushroom-obsessed Texans, the coming cold weather brings another edible hobby: mushrooming.

Texas is home to many species of edible mushrooms, and plenty of outdoor-minded Texans love taking to the woods to hunt for delectable treasures that sprout up each fall and spring. But before you grab your basket and head out in hopes of a feast, it’s important to know which mushroom types are edible, as others can be toxic.

Where to Find Mushrooms in Texas

Texas is home to around 10,000 species of mushrooms. At least 100 of those are harmful, but there are a few edible types that are highly sought after by foodies. Morels, chanterelles, and oyster mushrooms are among the most popular edible Texas mushrooms.

  • Morels are usually found in wet or damp areas or under dead or burned trees.
  • Chanterelles are found in forests with plenty of oaks and conifers.
  • Oyster mushrooms like the mild Texas winters and can be found in the cooler seasons growing around the stumps of trees.
Photo by Imani Chet Lytle

How to Look for Texas Mushrooms

If you go out looking for mushrooms, be careful. Each species has a poisonous lookalike. You may want to join one of several groups around the state that guide experienced and aspiring mushroom hunters. They include:

You’re also likely to find mushrooms in October in Madisonville, which hosts an annual mushroom festival and has been dubbed the mushroom capital of Texas.

Photo by Imani Chet Lytle

Chanterelle Mushroom Recipe

Texas is particularly known for its chanterelles, which smell like apricots and have an almost floral taste. There are plenty of ways to prepare them, but when you’re dealing with fresh chanterelles, it’s best to keep it simple, so as not to hide their natural flavor. Sauté them in oil and butter and serve them on toast.

1 pound fresh chanterelles, sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ lemon
1 cup of vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 teaspoon of thyme
2 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Photo by Imani Chet Lytle

Heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the chanterelles. Stir occasionally until they brown. Add the lemon juice and vegetable stock. Let simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Then add the butter and herbs. Stir to completely coat the mushrooms. Serve on toast.

Pro tip: This recipe is best enjoyed with a pot of tea!

For more fall recipes, try these three pecan treats.

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