California Travel Tips

Fungus Among Us Californians

Published on: January 08, 2019


While California holds no special claim in regard to fungi fame, there’s definitely a large audience of fans. From mushrooms to truffle festivals and fairs, people are eager to explore, learn and experience the ins and outs of foraging and feasting on gourmet tastes that can be quite expensive.

First, the warning! Every year it’s estimated that approx. a dozen people in California are severely poisoned by mushrooms they collect, cook and eat. Death cap mushrooms that are easily mistaken for an edible variety are often the culprit. Patients who suffer the most severe cases of mushroom poisoning may require a liver transplant within a week in order to survive. With that in mind, don’t take a chance if you’re not knowledgeable in mushroom identification.

If you’re curious about what you found, events such as Santa Cruz Fungus Fair invite attendees to bring samples so experts can ID them for you. Other events such as Los Alamos Mushroom Fest focus on the food with tasting events. Then there’s Big Sur Foragers Festival where you can experience Wild Mushroom Walks and Talks, or head for The Fungus Face-Off which includes food tastings, wine and beer samples.

California Fungus Fests & Events

  • SAN FRANCISCO: The Fungus Among Us Nightlife at Cal Academy of Sciences January 10, 2019
  • SANTA CRUZ: Santa Cruz Fungus Fair January 11-13
  • POINT REYES: Point Reyes National Seashore Fungus Fair January 12-13 is canceled due to U.S. government shutdown
  • BIG SUR: Big Sur Foragers Festival January 17-20
  • NAPA: Napa Truffle Festival January 18-21
  • LIVERMORE: Sycamore Grove Mushroom Madness January 20
  • LOS ALAMOS: Mushroom Fest January 25-27



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