Wild Foods of the Pacific Northwest

Since moving to Seattle in 2014, I have become quite passionate about foraging for native plants, fungus and natural products. Some of my favorite finds, edible and non-edible, are featured below. 


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I don't know what these are but aren't they gorgeous?

Delicious baby morels in the North Cascades

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My first Ramaria finds! They really do look like coral (and they were quite tasty cooked with butter and garlic)

Chanterelles, of course. I believe these are white ones. Apparently their aroma isn't quite as fruity as the golden chanterelle. 

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A mysterious beauty erupting at Magnuson Park

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Witches' Butter (Tremella mesenterica). It likes to grow in burn sites, so it's a good marker for potential morels. According to Wikipedia, "although considered bland and flavorless, the fungus is edible." I have not tried it.

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To date, this is the largest amanita I've ever seen (featuring me for scale). It was the size of a dinner plate! Shame they're poisonous. 

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Some sort of Peziza -- aren't they cute?

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These black raspberries might have a boring name, but they tasted like candy. 

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Grad school in Seattle means that sometimes your professors will take you salmon fishing...

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...and you might get to try your hand at brining fresh roe. Thanks, Dr. Beavo!

An amanita "egg" emerging on Mailbox Peak

Shaggy Manes (Coprinus comatus) growing wild on the UW Medicine campus! You need to run home to cook them after foraging, or else they will auto-digest and melt into black goo.

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Hood Canal oysters, gathered under the cover of darkness during winter low tide (with a shellfish permit, of course).

The first ferment of my first attempt at dandelion wine. I swore to my lab that we could drink it once we've submitted our first paper. Time is ticking. 

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Some beautiful blackberry honey from a local beekeeper friend-of-a-friend :) I want to turn it into mead -- stay tuned!

While we were running at Discovery Park one day, my partner and I found an INCREDIBLE array of edible mushrooms! Needless to say, the running stopped, and was replaced by us frantically grabbing all of the shaggy parasols, slippery jacks, and red cracked boletes we could carry.

While we were running at Discovery Park one day, my partner and I found an INCREDIBLE array of edible mushrooms! Needless to say, the running stopped, and was replaced by us frantically grabbing all of the shaggy parasols, slippery jacks, and red cracked boletes we could carry.

Cooking up some red cracked boletes ( Xerocomellus chrysenteron ) — arguably my favorite mushroom. Some people aren’t a fan of them because they do not have the firm, even flesh of king boletes or chanterelles, but I like their coloring and nutty flavor. They’re so flavorful that I think they’re best cooked in nothing more than butter and salt.

Cooking up some red cracked boletes (Xerocomellus chrysenteron) — arguably my favorite mushroom. Some people aren’t a fan of them because they do not have the firm, even flesh of king boletes or chanterelles, but I like their coloring and nutty flavor. They’re so flavorful that I think they’re best cooked in nothing more than butter and salt.

Slippery Jacks ( Suillus luteus ) sometimes get a bad rap because of their slimy caps, but once the thin, slimy outer layer is peeled off, they are great eating!

Slippery Jacks (Suillus luteus) sometimes get a bad rap because of their slimy caps, but once the thin, slimy outer layer is peeled off, they are great eating!

Some oyster mushrooms growing wild in Discovery Park.

Some oyster mushrooms growing wild in Discovery Park.

They had some beautiful rose pink accents after processing. My friend and I breaded and fried them and ate them as part of a really tasty summer salad.

They had some beautiful rose pink accents after processing. My friend and I breaded and fried them and ate them as part of a really tasty summer salad.