Some people like them, some people hate them and others don’t really care either way, but I fall squarely into the group that absolutely loves them: mushrooms. My love for these earthy fungi goes all the way back to childhood. When other kids screamed pepperoni at parents and teachers who asked what topping to get for pizza parties, I was usually the only one to quietly suggest mushrooms instead.
The Ferry Building houses all sorts of gourmet vendors, restaurants and markets but while other places included butcher shops, cheese stores, gelaterias or fancy chocolatiers, Far West Fungi was the first shop I’ve ever seen dedicated solely to mushrooms.
There were names I recognized and had eaten before like morel, portobello, chanterelle and shitake, but there were also pricier, stranger looking varieties like the orangey-red lobster mushrooms for $26 a pound. There were skinny white mushrooms, and short stubby ones, bright yellow shrooms and greyish stringy kinds, some that looked like cartoons and others that were broad and flat topped.
Other mushroom products included sauces, posters, books, mushroom-themed ceramic ware and even playing cards. The only thing that could’ve made it any better for me, would have been a fat, cheesy slice of mushroom-covered pizza.