In the beginning Eric and Michelle picked every mushroom. Eventually, we started training crews of people and paying them by the pound for their work. Over 15 years later, we’re super proud to support a vast network of rural foragers and to create opportunities in the market for non-timber forest products. No trees = no mushrooms. Some of our products contain cultivated oyster & shiitake, and we like to support local growers whenever possible..
Depends on the ingredient and the season. For Morels we chase forest fires so every year is different. We’ve harvested on the southern BC border, way up in the Northwest Territories, and in central AB. Our chanterelles are mostly Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), sometimes Saskatchewan. We have an ever growing little black book of secret spots in Western and northern Canada for our Porcini, other boletes, lobsters, pines, etc.
So the short answer is “we go lots of places”.
Mushrooms contain beta-glucans which boost the immune system. Wild mushroom are loaded with trace minerals and vitamins (Iron, selenium, Vitamin B & D, etc). There is research to support their anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory effects . And they are also a wonderful vegetarian protein.
Wild food grows and ripens ‘at home,’ so its taste and nutritional value is exceptional. It's home environment is a natural ecosystem, rich in vitamins and minerals and diversity – in contrast to the depleted sources of many food crops managed for maximized yield, transport, and esthetic. Think wild salmon vs farmed, or wild strawberry vs plastic pack imported.
The species we harvest have been enjoyed for centuries and are available in some of the top rated restaurants in the world. We are 100% confident in the species we harvest. We can differentiate between edible and non-edible mushrooms like a gardener can differentiate between a cucumber and a zuchini.
Some people are allergic to mushrooms, as is the case with any food. If it’s your first time eating wild mushrooms, eat a small amount. Wild mushrooms should be thoroughly cooked.
No. Untamed Feast dried wild mushrooms must be reconstituted and then cooked. Cooking is an alchemy, breaking down hard to digest materials and unlocking the flavor of the mushrooms. There are a few exceptions to this rule, like porcini, that are excellent raw, in small amounts, when just out of the ground.
It is not a common allergy but if you are allergy prone or have a concern about this, eat only a small amount to begin with to see if they agree with you. If you are allergic to a store bought mushroom it does not mean that you are allergic to wild mushrooms. The ingredients we harvest are safe for the majority of people and are served in restaurants all over the world.
Our products have a shelf-life between 14 months and 2 years. See storage section. The best before date is indicated on the back of your purchase in the format of mm/yyyy.
It depends on the variety, the size of the pieces, and the cooking method. You should soak the mushrooms first for best flavour and result. See the Eat section of the website or the recipes included in the product packages.
We no longer provide fresh wild mushrooms.
Heck yah. In fact, since mushrooms are 90% water, the dried product has much more flavour, (think raisin and grape). This concentrated flavour and the soaking liquid that comes with it, goes a a much longer way in dishes like soup, sauces, gravies, risotto. There are certainly texture differences between fresh and dried; a lot of people who are squeamish about the texture of fresh mushrooms will enjoy the more meaty texture of a dried one.
Yes! Compare a wild mushroom to an apple. The apple contains seeds and the mushroom contains spore. Apples are the fruiting body of a tree and mushrooms are the fruiting body of mycelium; a filament-like, underground network that feeds and connects the tree roots to one another. Picking the mushroom does not destroy the mycelium, just as picking the apple does not destroy the tree. The apple seeds are contained in the core of the fruit and must be scattered by birds and humans, the spore, which numbers in the billions per mushroom, disperses as easily like dust in the wind.
Wild mushrooms are hard to find and hard to get. It takes a great deal of resources to predict and prepare for each upcoming season. It is expensive, time consuming, and labour intensive to gather, dry, and process high quality wild ingredients within the short harvest season. Harsh weather, bugs, isolation, remoteness, and wildlife are just some of the elements at play in a wild harvest. Since many of these species of mushrooms cannot be farmed, mother nature’s generosity and good luck are major factors in every harvest cycle. We can’t simply get more.
Export markets for wild mushrooms are competitive. Global demand is usually greater than supply, mostly due to a lack of harvesters and difficulty in accessing remote areas. The bulk of Canadian wild mushrooms are exported at high value to Europe and Asia.
Canada is a vast land with a lot of empty space (that's where most of the mushrooms come from!) And shipping is notoriously expensive here.
We charge what the carrier charges based on your location and the volumetric weight of your parcel. We do not charge fees for handling or packaging materials.
We believe it is better to show customers the true cost of shipping rather than raising the price of our products.
*Free Shipping is a myth. When an item has Free Shipping that means the seller covers 100% of the cost of shipping. Companies doing huge volume of sales with high margin products are able to subsidize shipping.
Cooking Basics - Mushrooms
All Untamed Feast products ordered on-line come with recipes or have instructions on the back, but here are the basics:
Sauté rehydrated wild mushrooms with aromatics such as onions, garlic, and leeks. Then…top off your favourite proteins, stir them into cooked grains or sautéed greens, add to pasta, pizza, soup, mash potatoes.
Dried mushrooms should be rehydrated and must be thoroughly cooked.
Place mushrooms in a bowl and add suggested volume of tepid water, not hot. Some mushrooms will float, so make sure they all get wet. Let them stand for 5-20 minutes. Thick pieces, stems, and some varieties take longer so give them a pinch with your fingers to check readiness. If they are plump, they are ready. Take the mushrooms out of the water, squeezing excess liquid, and chop, slice, or blend as needed. Always save this water as it has loads of flavour and is used later in the recipe. When pouring the soaking water into your pot or pan, leave the last few tablespoons in the bowl as any bits of nature will have settled to the bottom. (Rehydration demo).
Untamed Feast wild products are made with simple, naturally dried ingredients. They have a long shelf life provided they are in an airtight and humidity free container/package. Untamed Feast bags are resealable so if you don’t use all your mushrooms in one go, seal them back up, or put them in a jar, and store them in a dry cupboard, not your fridge or freezer. The Ready- to-cook soups and rice dishes are single use.