commercial sale of Matsutakes

Laurence Roberts larrybob at
Sun Sep 21 01:33:52 EST 1997

I was in the San Rafael, California location of Whole Foods (or as some
of my friends call it, Wholly Expensive Foods) and noticed that they had
"Matsutake" (Tricholoma magnivelare) for sale for $25/lb.  These particular
specimens were rather dried out and a little moldy around the edges.  I
would probably let them lie if I found them in a forest, let alone at
a yuppie grocery store.  Anyway, I always find it frustrating when I see
wild mushrooms like Matsutake or black chanterelles sitting unpurchased
at prices of $15/lb and up.  These fine fungus are going to waste so that
a store can have some sort of status or illusion of completeness because
they have wild mushrooms.  It would be better if they didn't sell them
at all.

(On the other hand, maybe another pet peeve of mine is contradictory, which
is when restaurants advertise dishes as containing "wild mushrooms" which
actually contain shiitakes.)

Tonight while watching Iron Chef on Fuji TV (Saturday at 9:30 pm on
channel 26 in the San Francisco Area) I saw a commercial in Japanese
which featured pictures of matsutake and quoted a price of $75 for 250
grams.  That's about $150/lb.  What a bargain!

Laurence Roberts
larrybob at

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