atsutake mushrooms are more rare than the popular chanterelle—but we're in luck because they grow in the Deschutes, Fremont-Winema, Umpqua and Willamette forests. The season just started and runs through Nov. 5. Most people find the flavor of the Matsutake so strange they don't even know how to describe it.
In his book, Mushrooms Demystified, David Arora describes the taste as "a provocative compromise between 'red hots' and dirty socks." Doesn't that sound yummy? If you manage to find a few mushrooms but don't know what to do with them, take your cues from Japanese cuisine.
Matsutakes work well with Japanese flavors like seafood, rice wine, mirin and soy sauce.
Now that we've piqued your interest, grab your permit (yes, you'll need one), head to the forest and start looking for some Matsutakes under the pines.
Permits are available at Ranger District Offices.
Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District
63095 Deschutes Market Rd., Bend