Fall travel guide

Explore beaches, back roads, vineyards, and more during the West's golden season

The West's best fall travel experiences

It's the absolute best time to be outdoors, when some of our unique landscapes come brilliantly alive

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Wild mushrooms bloom
Photo by Jeffery Cross; written by Sara Dickerman, Peter Fish, Kelly Mickle, Loren Mooney, and Cristina Tudino

Wild mushrooms bloom

Those rich, ribbed, bulbous, and billowy fungus turning up at your local market are being harvested right now in parts of California and Oregon where the cool, rainy climate is ideal. Here are 6 species to eat now.

Chefs prize the hedgehog mushroom for its versatility, firm texture, and spicy hints of black pepper, coffee, and chocolate.

Matsutake has a spicy flavor. If you’re buying at the store, make sure it’s fresh (in the memorable phrase of mycologist-author David Arora, the aroma of an old one is a “provocative compromise between Red Hots and dirty socks”).

If you want to try foraging, the easily recognizable yellow chanterelle is a good first mushroom to hunt. Some epicures say its flavor is reminiscent of apricots.

King bolete’s earthy flavor is strongest when the mushroom is dried. But sliced fresh and grilled with a garlic–olive oil marinade, this mushroom (also known as porcini) earns its reputation as “poor man’s steak.”

Also called horn of plenty, the black trumpet, a chanterelle relative, packs a rich flavor with fruity undertones into its demure fluted form.

The yellowfoot has a fruity-earthy taste similar to that of yellow chanterelles and black trumpets, though its flavor is less pronounced. Balance its sweetness out with something salty by integrating the mushrooms into, say, a soy sauce reduction.


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