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How to find Matsutake (Pine) Mushrooms in BC forests…

Tips from Chef Robin on how to find one of the most expensive culinary mushrooms in the world…

How to find Matsutake (Pine) mushrooms in BC Forests? from Robin Kort on Vimeo.

You do have to be careful, because there are poisonous look alikes out there that can cause some serious liver damage (Amanita smithiana). You may be wondering why anyone would feel comfortable picking and eating matsutakes (Tricholoma magnivelare)? The main key to this mushroom is its really strong smell, tapering stem and thick, cottony ring (white above the ring and brown scales below).  Like earthy-cinnamon, no chef could mistake the smell of a matsutake for a deadly amanita.  It’s important to proceed with caution though, if there’s any question in your mind about the ID,  throw it out!

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26 Responses

  1. Identifying BC Poisonous Mushrooms
    Identifying BC Poisonous Mushrooms October 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm |

    […] and silvicola are other white amanitas that will do serious liver damage and have been confused for matsutake (pine) mushrooms which are a choice […]

  2. Wild Mushroom Foraging in BC
    Wild Mushroom Foraging in BC October 27, 2013 at 11:19 pm |

    […] Matsutake (Pine) – Tricholoma magnivelare […]

  3. Riane
    Riane October 19, 2014 at 4:32 pm | | Reply

    I would like to note that it is important that you don’t pull the mushroom out of the ground, thereby ensuring it won’t grow back in that spot. Cut it off at the base instead. Where did you learn to pick mushrooms? You need to take this video down so other people don’t get the wrong idea, and do what you did.

    1. MK
      MK October 26, 2015 at 7:53 am | | Reply

      I would also like to note when it comes to pines/matsutakes they HAVE to be pulled as Robin said. PERIOD. I don’t pick for commercial resale, but suppliers/brokers will NOT buy them if they are cut because this is just common knowledge. Generally speaking if you cut, you are in fact opening the mycelial colony up to contamination. It has to use resources to fight off and isolate the rot from the rest of the colony. Having actually grown mushrooms myself, I know this to be true. When mushrooms age and rot naturally, the vesicles in the stipe constrict while the fruiting body atrophies. Commercial mushroom farms are an exception, they cut -because the growing medium is re-composted and cycled again with the remaining tissue used as fertilizer. Studies have proven when it comes to wild mushrooms (generally) the impact of cutting vs picking is nearly identical. Firm believers in cutting, are from an old school of picking -that don’t understand the biology (mycology) of what’s occurring substratum. The ignorance is mind boggling. Can you tell this issue really irks me ;)?

    2. Cassy Fehr
      Cassy Fehr October 18, 2016 at 2:42 pm | | Reply

      My town won’t buy pines ubless pulled outta the ground.

  4. ger giguere
    ger giguere September 9, 2015 at 10:08 am | | Reply

    Hi Robin .. I have picked matsutake commercially in the same area as you for over 30 years …well over but we need not go there ..You are very correct when you say at least concerning matsutake ease the whole mushroom out of the ground and try to disturb the area as little as possible.. I will tap the caps if they are open to hopefully drop spore and any wormies I break up and bury and again with as little soil disturbance as possible. Riane is wrong in assuming that this is the wrong way to pick this mushroom .. number one you can,t sell matsutake if they are cut .. number two it makes no difference as I have picked patches for 20 years and the mushooms grow back in the exact same spots pretty well as long as you put everything back and I mean everything in the same spots …tap the moss down and make it look like you were never there .. btw if you are looking for ome this season drop me an e-mail …could supply for you if you don’t have the time..also white chantrelles and red caps….dried morels year fresh…

    1. Darrell
      Darrell May 18, 2016 at 3:29 am | | Reply

      Hi I. Want to pick this year

  5. jaime
    jaime October 28, 2016 at 6:14 am | | Reply

    what is the better tyme to pick matsutake in boston bar

  6. Crystal Ramsay
    Crystal Ramsay August 3, 2017 at 6:24 am | | Reply

    Can I find these near Stewart BC? What age forest growth am I looking in?

    1. Janet
      Janet November 17, 2019 at 8:31 pm | | Reply

      Hi Robin, Do you know where I can find the pine mushroom near Vancouver? Thank you.

  7. Trevor Myles
    Trevor Myles October 16, 2017 at 10:31 pm | | Reply

    When you read the article on how to harvest the mushrooms it says to cut them , in your video you just pull it out of the ground I know your showing people the difference but,if anyone watches just the video, & not read the article they won’t know that if you pull them out of the ground they won’t grow back in that spot, no complaining just wanted to let you know that I notice the difference Trevor,

  8. Doreen Cooper
    Doreen Cooper July 19, 2020 at 1:18 pm | | Reply

    Hell, chef Robin I have a parasol mushroom , Marcrolepiota procera. White spore print, white gills,smooth stalk, bulblious, very good eating. I dry them as well eat fresh.Over the years have been propogating them to more grassy areas. Now I have an abundance more than I need, would like to know how, and where to Market them, $ value, fresh or dried etc.? I live in the Central Cariboo near Williams Lake, and would like to join a mushroom enthusiest group. Thank you, Doreen

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